When Concorde was still flying, it fast forwarded the speed of air travel by an almost unimaginable leap, but now Airbus confirms it has filed a patent for a special “rocket motor” airplane that would cut flying time from London to NY down to just sixty minutes!
Currently the flying time across the Atlantic is about 7.5 to eight hours.
Airbus say that the high speed supersonic plane will combine three engines – turbojets, ramjets and a “rocket motor”. Even more amazingly the new Airbus engine would be much quieter, travelling at speeds of up to 4.5 times the speed of sound. This is three times faster than Concorde speed.
However, for many the excitement stops there because the principal passengers on this avant-garde plane will probably be business VIPs, military personnel and presumably celebrities who need to fly to and from the States in a day, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to reserve seats on the just-patented Airbus any time soon. Plans to allow commercial passengers are unclear at the momento.
Nevertheless, the dynamics are exciting. Turbojets would propel the plane vertically into the air like a rocket before levelling off and flying at 100,000 feet and special aerodynamics would make it considerably quieter than Concorde, which was pulled from service in 2003.
Aircraft geeks will already know that one of the reasons Concorde did not break the sound barrier unless it was flying over oceans (and away from populated areas) is because of the noise it generated.
Speaking of Concorde, a group of ex-pilots, airline executives and engineers has been working to get the plane back into the air. They recently confirmed they would be willing to spend around two hundred million pounds to restore an original Concorde aircraft and have it in service within the next four to five years.
So, while we won’t be jetting off to NYC for a two day Christmas shopping timeshare break any time soon, it’s going to be interesting to watch this story develop…