Jet startup claims it’ll be able to fly people from New York to London in 90 minutes with hypersonic jet

A Hypersonic Jet

A European company wants to build a faster-than-sound passenger airplane that they say can fly from New York to London in just 90 minutes. Air France stopped using a plane called the Concorde because it had safety problems and was too expensive to operate, and it could fly from London to New York in about three hours.1 Now, a European company wants to make an even better airplane than Concorde. They are working on a “hypersonic jet” passenger plane.

The startup company, called “Destinus, has plans for a hypersonic passenger plane. The first design is a small private plane called the Destinus S that can carry about 25 people. This plane would fly very high, around 108,000 ft. To compare, a regular airplane like the Boeing 737 flies at around 41,000 ft, so the hypersonic jet would be much higher. The hypersonic plane would also be very fast, about five times the speed of sound. This means it could fly from Paris to New York in 90 minutes.

There will be another model, the Destinus L, that carries about 300-400 people. These planes are still being developed, and Destinus expects to start delivering the Destinus L plane between 2032 and 2035. The Destinus L plane will be available sometime in the 2040s.

Like Concorde But Different

The planes will use a type of fuel called liquid hydrogen and powerful engines called ramjets to go from slow to very fast speeds. Hydrogen fuel is important because it helps keep the planes cool during flights.

At the Paris Air show, Destinus said the hypersonic jet is like a mix of a rocket and an airplane. They have talked to many airlines and airports who also think hydrogen will be important for the future of aviation. But building these planes is expensive, so Destinus is funding the project by providing services to the energy industry.

Like Concorde, there are many costs, like to use of fuel per passenger and of course, the loud noise (called a sonic boom) over residential areas. Concorde flew at an altitude of around 60,000ft in comparison to Destinus’ proposed aircraft, so hypothetically, the sonic booms (that go unheard of by the pilot and passengers of the aircraft) should be more muffled to those below.

Destinus will also, by comparison, be moving more than twice the speed of Concorde’s flights. Concorde jets had a max speed of just over Mach 2, while Destinus’ hypersonic jets will move at over Mach 5

Moving Forward (in a hypersonic jet)

It is unclear yet how Destinus will be working through the problems Concorde has – as the price point for fuel per passenger is still relatively high and Destinus is still not ready for launch at this point. The assumption is that ticket prices will be relatively high (Concorde flights were around $12,000)3, but possibly higher due to the greater velocity and therefore greater time saved – but also greater fuel spent.

With Concorde having been shut down in 2003, it is unclear if the market for high-priced, time-saving, hypersonic jet flights will be sustainable for the new company. That said, with the income gap being larger than ever before and a greater number of people making international travel a priority, who knows what the future of air travel and Destinus could look like.






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