posted on Apr, 15 2009 @ 12:00 AM
I'll keep the purposes of this response to the US, as others have pointed out ways to buy a supersonic ride outside the US.
There is no FAR or regulation that prevents a civvie from SS flight, only WHERE it can be done. So that begs the question of what vehicle. The only
commercially available civvie one that I am aware of is/was (no longer available) homebuilt jet, the BD-10. I saw one fly several times and was
impressed, it clearly was a very well performing machine. The test pilot at the time, a 117 driver and highest combat time pilot in the world, had
nothing but good things to say about it, and I believe him. It was capable of SS flight, but I don't know if it ever did. Jim Bede is a designer and
a business man of questionable intent, so all of his aviation adventures have failed. Too bad, he had some appealing designs.
So that brings us to military hardware. Well, off the top of my head, the F-86 will do it in a dive. I know of F-100's, F-104's, F-4's, Mig 17, Mig
21 etc. and many others in private hands that can do it. Provided you have a not unreasonable about of cash, the hardware is readily available.
Ok..now what? Where do you do it? FAR's do prevent SS flight over land except in approved restricted military airspace. The easy answer is outside
the ADIZ over water, but there is a way to do it over land as well. Darryl Greenamyer (ex-mil) used the restricted airspace in 1977 at Edwards AFB to
set the low altitude absolute speed record of 998 mph in a F-104 that he put together from surplus parts. Granted you are not going to get access to
the airspace for joy rides, but EDW has a SS corridor that is used by the mil pilots daily and civvies have gotten into it in the past.
So...not terribly difficult really. Hope this helps.