Air travel is one of the most predominant forms of transportation. However, even with the advancement of technology, it still takes quite some time to travel across the world. Well, Boeing wants to change this in the near future. The US airplane maker has the vision to develop planes that could jet people from the US to Japan in under three hours. That is practically from one corner of the world to the other. The same jets will also be able to cut the flight time from New York City to London to just two hours.
Boeing unveiled a new rendering of its first ever design of these hypersonic planes for passengers. The unveiling was done during an aerospace event held in the city of Atlanta. There’s no doubt that the rendering and the whole idea of creating a hypersonic jet will generate a lot of interest all over the world. However, it’s important to make it clear that this is just a concept that could be years away from becoming a reality.
In theory though, the hypersonic jet will have the capacity to fly at an average speed of 3,900 miles per hour. With that kind of speed, you could travel from LA to Tokyo in just three hours, a journey that takes almost 7 hours with the current airplanes. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has been exploring the potential of hypersonic passenger jets and the role that they could possibly play in revamping air transport in the future.
In an interview with CNBC, Muilenburg said that it’s possible that these high-speed planes could become a reality over the next decade or two. The CEO also added that future innovations in the aerospace industry will focus on helping people move across destinations faster.
But how is this even possible, a plane that moves at 3,900 miles per hour? How do you make that happen? Well, first of all, the materials used to make the planes will need to be way lighter. There’s also the need for new powerful engines capable of propelling planes at such speeds.
There’s no engine at the moment that’s even close to hitting hypersonic speed levels. In addition to this, even though the materials used to make planes have become lighter in recent years, they are still not where they need to be for a hypersonic jet. That’s why Boeing and other airplane makers that want to explore this area will need to develop these things from scratch.
However, it won’t be easy. It’s a process that will require time and a lot of investment. There’s also the question of economic viability. Many analysts argue that hypersonic passenger planes are not needed that urgently. It will be very hard for companies like Boeing to justify in front of shareholders billions of dollars in R&D spending for the hypersonic planes. Nonetheless, the company is making big steps towards this goal. Even though we are still at the starting stages, this is a bold statement of intent from the biggest US airplane manufacturer.