Ready. Set. Go: Hypersonic Jet Will Get You From Tokyo To London In 2.5 Hours
Imagine being able to get on a plane that travels four times faster than the speed of sound?
If the experts are right, you won’t have to use your imagination much longer. At the 2011 Pair Air Show the designers at French aerospace group EADS, the owners of Airbus, announced the ZEHST for Zero Emission High Supersonic Transport. The hypersonic passenger plane would use a combination of three different sets of engines to reach an altitude of 5km and 3,125mph, more than four times than the speed of sound, otherwise known as Mach 4. Despite its size the creators of the speedy aircraft promise the aircraft will be as quiet as modern day planes, even less of a polluter and would be able to carry 50 to 100 passengers.
“It’s not a Concorde, but it looks like a Concorde,” EADS chief technical officer Jean Botti said at the opening of the Paris Air Show. “This is clearly not for tourist travel and flights will not be cheap. ZEHST is for business people who need to fly to a different continent in the morning and come back in the evening.”
So how soon will you be able to book a ticket? “The initial concept represents a propulsion system architecture which is driven by flight safety considerations and by the requirements to minimise exhaust gas and noise emissions, in particular to mitigate the sonic boom,” says Botti. “We are on a very early stage with this research programme. First series planes flying with technology resulting from this concept will not fly before 2040.”
Now if only we could time travel to the year 2040.