Hypersonic Aircraft Could Fly Paris to Tokyo in Two and a Half Hours
Business travelers can start dreaming again about flying the Paris-Tokyo or Tokyo-Los Angeles routes in less than two hours and 30 minutes. That's the idea behind a hypersonic airliner unveiled by aerospace giant EADS at the Paris Air Show and slated for commercial debut in 2050.
The Zero Emission Hypersonic Transportation jet is being considered more than seven years after the supersonic Concorde airliner retired. But the new aircraft would push beyond the Concorde into a whole new realm of flight with speeds of Mach 4, compared to the Concorde's top speeds of Mach 2, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A normal takeoff using turbojets would quickly transition to a steep climb when the jet's rocket engines kick in around 16,000 feet up, according to an EADS brochure. That would boost the aircraft to 75,000 feet and take it easily into the stratosphere, where air-breathing ramjets could take over and bring the jet up to cruising speed.
The Wall Street Journal uses slightly different numbers by stating that the rocket engines would ignite between 6,500 to 9,800 feet, and that the jet would climb to an altitude of more than 100,000 feet.
As icing on the cake, EADS plans to use zero-emission hydrogen and oxygen fuel in the aircraft. That would also help free airlines from the cost tyranny of oil prices.
The aircraft exists only as a design, but just might have a shot because of its backing by EADS. The multi-billion dollar corporation also owns aircraft manufacturer Airbus, which recently unveiled its own vision of futuristic jet passenger travel complete with privacy pods and virtual reality.
Given how many concept aircraft have come and gone, airline passengers might want to hold off on celebration until the planned technology demo at least comes out in 2020. But if EADS fulfills its vision, future international travelers might spend just a little more time in the air as waiting at the airport to pass through airport security.
This story was provided by InnovationNewsDaily, a sister site to TechNewsDaily. You can follow InnovationNewsDaily senior writer Jeremy Hsu on Twitter @ScienceHsu. Follow InnovationNewsDaily on Twitter @News_Innovation, or on Facebook.