Russia to bring back supersonic flights

Russia is designing a Concorde-like jet in an effort to bring back supersonic travel.

The project started last year when President Vladimir Putin visited the hangar of Russia's new TU-160 strategic bomber and asked his transport ministry to work on a passenger version of the aircraft.

The TU-160 is the largest aircraft of its type and can fly up to 2200 kilometres an hour, twice the speed of sound and nearly three times the speed of current passenger aircraft.

The Soviet Union had previously designed and operated a similar aircraft called the Tupolev TU-144, but it only flew commercially for a year as it was simply too expensive to operate.

Development teams in Russia's Ministry of Industry are working on ways to improve the aerodynamics of the bombers design so the aircraft would be capable of carrying passengers.

Comments on Russian media webistes about the announcement have been as patriotic as they are positive.

"This amazing airliner will be the perfect symbol of Russia's technological superiority. Its heartwarming to see President Putin's decision realised," one comment read.

A simulator for the new aircraft is expected to be complete by 2022.