The founder of Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, announced his readiness to launch a dozen supersonic aircraft into the sky, the era of which, according to the businessman, is returning. Earlier, the development of supersonic passenger aviation was announced by NASA. Despite many years of "pause" of mass production of supersonic aircraft, this topic continued to be discussed and the designers did not stop working on projects.
When it comes to the travel of the future, passengers first and foremost dream of getting to their destination as quickly as possible. The concept of the Screemr supersonic passenger liner project, presented in 2015 by Canadian engineer Charles Bombardier and designer Ray Mattison, lies in speed. The name of the founder of the Bombardier company is well known. As for his partner, designer Ray Mattison has already worked for Cirrus Aircraft and Exodus Machines, he also owns the concept of a hybrid aircraft with a motorcycle "Icarus" (Icarus wingless aircraft).
The Screemr plane must be 10 times faster than the speed of sound, and a flight, for example, from London to New York will take only half an hour. As conceived by the authors of the project, Screemr will be launched using an electromagnetic gun and fly on a liquid propellant rocket engine (kerosene or liquid oxygen). As a result, it should accelerate to 12.4 thousand km / h. The Screemr is expected to accommodate up to 75 passengers and is expected to operate transcontinental flights.
The Lapcat supersonic passenger aircraft project was developed by designers from Reaction Engines and financially supported by the British aerospace company BAE Systems. As conceived by the developers, Lapcat should pick up speed up to Mach 5, that is, about 6 thousand km / h, which is two and a half times the speed of the Concorde. Thus, it will be possible to fly, say, from London to Sydney in just four hours (the flight time on a regular plane will be 20 hours). The aircraft is supposed to use the conceptual engine "Yatagan", which exploits the thermodynamic properties of liquid hydrogen.
The project of the supersonic passenger airliner "Concorde 2", capable of flying at a speed of Mach 4.5, was presented a year ago by the aircraft manufacturer Airbus. From London to New York the plane should fly in just an hour, and from Tokyo to Los Angeles in three hours. As conceived by the developers, "Concorde-2" takes off vertically and flies along specially designated air corridors at an altitude of about 30.5 km. The YouTube channel even posted a video schematically demonstrating the aircraft's capabilities. They were described as "the tallest roller coaster with steep inclines and descents, as well as high speed."
The Airbus patent describes three different types of engine: ramjet, twin turbojet, and rocket. It is planned that they will be involved at different stages of the plane's journey to its destination. At the same time, according to the assurances of the engineers, in contrast to the first Concorde, the sound clap (a classic obstacle to the development of supersonic aircraft) will be quieter for the Concorde-2. True, the number of passengers that the new plane can take on board is limited to only two dozen, which means that the flight will be very expensive.
This is another concept presented by the restless Charles Bombardier at the end of January this year. If earlier supersonic projects limited themselves to the framework of reality, then the technical characteristics of Antipode look absolutely fantastic. Its top speed is Mach 24, which is 12 times the speed of the Concorde. Therefore, a New Yorker can fly this plane to London in 11 minutes, to Shanghai in 24 minutes, and to Sydney in 32 minutes. Almost teleportation.
Engineer Joseph Hazeltein, who is involved in the Bombardier project, proposed an innovative aerodynamic phenomenon called long penetration mode (LPM): special nozzles on the nose of the aircraft draw in air, cooling the aircraft's hull. This would solve the problem of the aircraft overheating at that speed. Antipode will be able to take off from any airfield using reusable booster rockets. They are attached to the wings of the aircraft and, when it gains the required speed and altitude, they are dropped and returned back to base. A serious disadvantage of the project is the aircraft's capacity - the cabin is designed for only 10 passengers. Therefore, it would be more expedient to use it on expensive business trips or as a military aircraft.