8 years on since concorde and its deafening sonic boom were consigned to the history books, British-based aerospace firm, HyperMach has announced plans to launch a more efficient, quieter “next generation” of supersonic travel.
Unveiling its ambitious concept plane of the future, “SonicStar” at the Paris air show last week, HyperMach shared its vision to launch the 20-seat supersonic jet for the business market and has pencilled in June 2021 for the first flight.
HyperMach says SonicStar will fly at 62,000ft and connect passengers between Paris and the Big Apple in under 2 hours, or New York and Sydney in 5, cruising at Mach 3.5 – almost twice the speed of Concorde (Mach 2).
Holiday-makers enamoured with the idea of taking a luxe mini weekend break to the other side of the world will have to wait 40 years for the chance to be whisked off on hypersonic jet, ZEHST- Zero Emission Hypersonic Transportation – which Airbus’s parent, EADS is developing for commercial air travel by 2050.
While critics question the economic viability of supersonic travel, some experts say business jets could lead its revival, before the idea takes off on larger, passenger jets.
Technology has progressed since the age of Concorde. HyperMach’s SonicStar is designed to address Concorde’s shortcomings with a plane design and technology designed to soften the roaring sonic boom sound that led regulators to restrict Concorde’s flights over land – limiting the jet’s financial potential.
HyperMach say SonicStar would be powered by a hybrid electric/gas turbine engine, which would be 30% more fuel efficient then Concorde’s Rolls Royce engine.
The aerospace firm say they plan to develop and build the engine technology in the UK and are in discussions with potential engine partners for the manufacture of the engine.
Video: HyperMach’s SonicStar
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