For something that was developed in the early 1970s, the now-defunct supersonic Concorde jet was the most futuristic-looking airliner the world had ever seen. Until now, that is.

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This unmanned prototype of a supersonic airplane — a plane which can travel faster than the speed of sound — was unveiled to the media in Utsunomiya, Japan last week. The plane is being developed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Fuji Heavy Industries Inc.

The prototype, which weighs a ton and measures eight meters in length, will go through a series of flight tests later this year in Sweden.

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A major drawback of the original supersonic jet, the Concorde, was that it was ridiculously loud. But this one is being designed to feature significant noise reduction effects. If a passenger jet for up to 50 people is built with the same technology, it could be about 75% quieter than the Concorde.

[Source: Japan News]