Nasa is to spend up to £3.9 million on research into eco-friendly commercial supersonic passenger planes - which could look a lot like the famous Anglo-French plane Concorde.

A series of grants have been awarded to groups including MIT and Wyle Laboratories, and research will focus on the environmental impact of supersonic aircraft and the general effects they might have on the overall atmosphere.

An artist’s impression of how such a jet might look can be seen in the Nasa image above.

[Related story: Concorde – where are they now?]

Quieter, greener supersonic travel is the focus of the eight studies selected by Nasa’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project.

The research, which will be conducted by universities and industry, will also address sonic booms and high-altitude emissions from supersonic jets.

With supersonic flight back on the cards, should Concorde ever have been retired? Tell us in the Comments section below.