Airbus has unveiled a hypersonic jet that could take the journey time from the UK to New York down to just one hour.
The French aircraft manufacturer’s application to patent an “ultra-rapid air vehicle and related method of aerial locomotion” has been approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The invention uses turbojets, ramjets and a rocket motor to allow the jet to travel at 4.5 times the speed of sound.
To take off, the aircraft will use two turbojets mounted under the fuselage as well as a rear-mounted rocket motor. As the Airbus lifts off the runway, it will climb vertically until it reaches the speed of sound when the turbojets will shut down leaving the rocket motor to guide it up to its cruising altitude of more than 100,000 feet.
The rocket motor will then shut down leaving the plane’s two ramjets, mounted on the delta wings, to propel the jet to its top speed of Mach 4.5. According to Airbus, much of the plane’s aerodynamics are designed to limit and reduce the sonic boom it will create when it reaches supersonic speed. In the 1970s, Concorde was beset by complaints about the noise pollution created by its four Rolls-Royce Olympus turbojet engines.
Airbus says its hypersonic jet, which shaves two and a half hours off Concorde’s journey time between London and New York, is aimed at the “business travel and VIP” market.
Image source: PatentYogi