Chicago - Flying five times faster than the sound speed might sound like a distant future story, but according to Boeing, the hypersonic flight can be a reality in twenty to thirty years.
The American aircraft manufacturer presented its first-ever concept for a hypersonic passenger plane for military or commercial customers, which could cross Atlantic or Pacific ocean in two hours.
Boeing revealed the concept at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Atlanta on June 26. Boeing has provided a glimpse of the future with the release of an image of its hypersonic passenger plane.
Within Boeing, engineers are working on various concepts that will enable the development of a hypersonic plane. The concept for a hypersonic passenger plane can be applied to a military aircraft as well, according to Boeing.
We’re excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before,said Kevin Bowcutt, senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics.
Boeing is building upon a foundation of six decades of work designing, developing and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles, which makes us the right company to lead the effort in bringing this technology to market in the future,he added.
The concept image portrays a passenger plane capable of flying at over five times the speed of sound is meant to give the public some idea of what air travel could be like 20 or 30 years from now.
Boeing’s engineers anticipate a turbofan engine capable of a wide range of speeds that can be bypassed when it’s time for the airplane to zoom really. Besides, a conventional engine’s fan blades would break off at such speeds. While flying at hypersonic speeds, you don’t need fan blades to compress air because the speed of the craft does that for you.
For decades, the development of a hypersonic passenger aircraft became the subject of futuristic projects, but due to the high costs, those projects never materialized.
The fastest passenger plane so far was the Franco-British Concorde from 1976 to 2003, which could fly up to twice the speed of the sound.