If airlines had their way, you’ll soon be able to buy a seat on a plane that travels at speeds of Mach 5 and possibly even more.
It’s been almost 20 years since the Concorde was able to make the trip across the Atlantic in about three hours and it looks like we’ll soon be able to do it in just 90 minutes.
The passenger version of this plane is still years away, but an Atlanta-based startup is currently designing an engine for a small, unmanned hypersonic aircraft for the US Air Force.
According to CNN, Hermeus believes that if this engine that they’re in the process of designing is scaled to a bigger size, it will be able to power a passenger plane.
“To help us size the aircraft, we basically built a business model for an airline,” says AJ Piplica, CEO of Hermeus. “We focused on the business class and first-class travellers, and then played around with some parameters such as speed and operating costs. What came out of that was an aircraft with a 20-passenger cabin,” he told CNN.
Routes with a stopover included or routes where the aeroplane is required to travel over countries won’t be included in the plan. The noise from breaking the sound barrier will be more than any country’s noise regulations allow.
Image credit: Flight Global