Airbus has been granted a patent for a new hypersonic passenger jet that could drastically speed up airline travel.
Like, by a lot.
If you thought the Concorde was cool because it could fly from London to New York in about 3 hours and 30 minutes, you'll be mind-blown to learn that aircraft manufacturer Airbus has improved upon that time even still by dreaming up a plane that can go between London and New York in just one hour. It's even won a patent for the technology.
The new plane is dubbed Concorde 2.0 and is a passenger aircraft that could fly at up to four-and-a-half times the speed of sound - Mach 4.5 - compared to Mach 2.5 for the original Concorde, which is just one of two turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jets to have entered commercial service.
The Concorde was developed and produced in the late 1960s by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation and could reach over twice the speed of sound while transporting up to 128 seated passengers. It's an intense plane.
But the new Concorde 2.0 will be even more intense - and not just because it can go faster. Unlike the Concorde, it doesn't have a noise problem. Everyone knows tearing through the atmosphere faster than the speed of sound is super loud, but Concorde 2.0 has solved that issue with a redesign.
It is able to dissipate noise energy horizontal to Earth by rotating its tail fins as it climbs high into the atmosphere, meaning those noisy sound waves won't reach and disrupt people living on the ground. Also, Concorde 2.0 is able to go twice the altitude of the original Concorde (about 30 km).
Another interesting fact about Concorde 2.0 is that it takes off vertically using rocket motors like a Space Shuttle, and then when it's in the sky, ramjets commonly found in missiles and commercial planes will kick in and push the aircraft to hypersonic speeds. Meanwhile, only about 20 passengers can travel and must sit in hammock-like seats.
As for when you can expect to ride this fast aircraft by Airbus, unfortunately several reports are pegging the launch date to be about 30 or 40 years from now. Sigh.