Boeing has made clear its intention to play a major role in the development of hypersonic flight, having revealed the concept behind a passenger plane that could potentially travel at five times the speed of sound. It would take several decades, however, before a prototype could even be built. The aircraft manufacturer is also working on other hypersonic flight projects, among them a drone that could be used by the military.
Boeing has unveiled the concept behind a hypersonic passenger plane that could cut flight times between London and New York to just two hours. Currently the journey takes seven hours. In travelling at five times the speed of sound, at over 6,100 kmh, the aircraft could reach any destination in the world in no more than three hours, as reported by CNN.
“Developments takes years to complete, and even more so with a technology that requires additional testing and refinement as we work to understand how it might fit into the market place,” said Boeing spokesperson Brianna Jackson in an email quoted by CNN. It would take 20 to 30 years for the concept to become a reality, such are the technical challenges faced by the company’s engineers.
#ICYMI: We revealed a new hypersonic passenger plane concept that one day could redefine aviation and connect the world faster than ever before. Find out more: https://t.co/wrstOjHUPx pic.twitter.com/HfSZ2k6DME— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) July 3, 2018
Boeing is also working on other hypersonic aircraft projects and has long predicted a promising future for the technology, putting itself up as a major player in the game against other aerospace giants such as Aerion Corporation and Lockheed Martin. Jackson added that Boeing is serious about hypersonic and has been testing ultra-fast technology for decades.
Boeing also unveiled a design for an autonomous hypersonic drone that could, if it ever sees the light of day, be used by the military for surveillance. Indeed, its passenger plane concept may be used by the US military before it ever hits the commercial marketplace. “We’d see something like this first before a passenger hypersonic concept,” explained Jackson.
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