Monday, 22 October, 2018

Boeing unveils plans for ‘hypersonic’ plane to slash worldwide travel times

Boeing unveils hypersonic jet that can travel from London to New York in two hours An image of a hypersonic plane which could make its maiden flight as soon as 2030
Priscilla Morrison | 29 June, 2018, 14:29

The long-haul flight between Australia and Europe may one day be a thing of the past. Concorde, in comparison, flew at Mach 2.02, taking it from NY to London in three and a half hours. It's now about a 16-hour flight if you have a straight-shooting flight with no stopovers.

Though the definition of hypersonic isn't set in stone, the term generally refers to an aircraft that can fly at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.

Boeing is still trying to figure out how any of this will all actually happen, but the aircraft manufacturing company does have its eye on a launch date.

"We're excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before", Bowcutt said in a post on Boeing's website.

On Tuesday, in a conference in Atlanta at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Boeing disclosed and talked about its first concept design for a hypersonic passenger jet. Boeing is considering both commercial and military applications.

More news: China lifts French beef ban as PM Edouard Philippe ends visit

Its passenger plane concept may be used by the USA military before it ever hits the commercial marketplace. The company's engineers are working now to develop enabling technology that will position the company to be competitive when the market is ready for hypersonic flight.

There's no exact timeline in place yet, Boeing says the hypersonic passenger vehicle could be airborne in the next 20-30 years.

This is a theoretical "hypersonic" plane, capable of flying at Mach 5 or above (a speed of around 3,900 miles per hour) - a considerable upgrade on Concorde, which had a maximum capability of Mach 2.04 (nudging 1,354 miles per hour at its fullest throttle).

And Elon Musk's rocket startup, SpaceX, has plans to use the spaceship portion of its interplanetary transport system to shuttle people around the globe at unheard of speeds.

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