I am always interested in better and faster ways to travel and they don’t come much better and faster than travelling by supersonic jet. I recently wrote an article about travelling transatlantic by the supersonic jets proposed by Spike Aerospace and Aerion Corporation. Now Airbus have come up with their own, stylish plans for a supersonic jet that will whisk you London to New York in three and a half hours which is faster than Concorde with speeds of up to mach 4.5.
Documents have been lodged with the US Patent Office by the aerospace and defence group for an “ultra-rapid air vehicle”, which would cruise at an altitude of more than 100,000ft and carry only 20 passengers for distances of about 5,500 miles.
Clearly the capacity is hugely reduced from that of the Concorde which will limit this opportunity of jet set travel to the most luxury of travellers, however the concept remains exciting, opening to doors to the possibility of a larger version of this transatlantic jet.
Slightly worryingly, the plans sound somewhat terrifying with an initial “near vertical ascendant flight” powered by a rocket motor in combination with conventional jets. Once the sound barrier has been broken, the engines are retracted in the fuselage and the ramjets become the main propulsion for the jet.
So although the concept is exciting, I am not sure I will be spending my hard earned pounds on this roller coaster ride.
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