Supersonic commercial flying was grounded with the Concorde but aircraft manufacturers have been working on concepts of ultra-fast jets over the past few years which may enable us to fly supersonic once again. Boeing’s latest concept actually kicks things up a notch because it’s a hypersonic plane that would travel up to Mach 5 or 3,836 miles per hour, multiple times faster than the speed of sound.
Boeing has released renders of its hypersonic jet and it features a delta-wing configuration with dual rear fins, a sleek fuselage with a sharp nose. The design will help the jet travel at Mach 5 speeds and be able to cross the Pacific Ocean in just three hours.
Boeing’s senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics Kevin Bowcutt that Boeing could have made it faster but it has “settled” on the Mach 5 version. That’s because exceeding Mach 5 requires more advanced engines and materials which aren’t worth the effort at this point in time.
“This aircraft would allow you to fly across the ocean and back in one day, which is all most people would want. So why go past those boundaries and complicate it? The world’s just not big enough to go much faster than Mach 5,” he added.
The company hasn’t finalized the dimensions of this airplane just yet but mentions that it’s going to be larger than a conventional business jet but smaller than its legendary 737. It could seat up to 100 passengers and cruise at 95,000 feet which will be 30,000 feet higher than the Concorde. The commercial airplanes that we fly in today cruise at just north of 30,000 feet.
Just don’t expect to catch a ride on this plane anytime soon, though, as Boeing says that a production aircraft based on this concept may take up to 30 years.
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