The Concorde isn’t in service anymore, so there’s no fast way to fly from New York to London. But there are some bold concepts that are looking to reimagine supersonic jets and turn them into viable travel solutions for passengers interested in getting across the pond even faster. The most exciting one we’ve seen comes from a designer thinks he has figured out what’s needed to fly from New York to London faster than ever.
Charles Bombardier explained in The Globe and Mail that his Skreemr prototype will be able to make the journey across the Atlantic five times faster than the Concorde. According to Popular Mechanics, that means New York-London trip would last just a half hour, assuming particular problems are fixed.
For starters, the proposed idea suggests a system where the plane would take off from a MagLev-based electric railgun that would give it a speed of around Mach 4. That means its 75 passengers might have to deal with tremendous G forces during takeoff. Furthermore, the increased acceleration at lower altitudes might ignite the airplane, which means such a design would have to be made from a material capable of withstanding intense heat.
After takeoff, the jet would then ignite liquid oxygen or kerosene rockets to increase altitude and accelerate to the point where firing up a scramjet engine is possible. At that point, the aircraft would reach Mach 10, or 7,673 miles per hour.
Scramjet technology is being tested in the U.S. and China by the military, so it’ll be a while until it’s used on commercial flights – if that will ever happen.
While Bombardier’s design might be too sci-fi for now, he’s not the only one to dream up next-generation supersonic jets. Airbus has already patented design concepts for a Concorde-2 while a group of pilots and airline executives are looking to bring the original Concorde back into production by 2019, having pledged $250 million for the project.