The European Space Agency is working a new plane that will travel so fast it makes the Concorde look like the Belphegor – the world’s slowest aircraft.
The jet project called LAPCAT or Long Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies is to develop a high-speed aircraft that can fly up to five times the speed of sound.
At that speed, it will be able to take travellers anywhere in the world in just four hours. So just to be clear from Sydney to London – four hours; Perth to Argentina – four hours; and the Northern Territory to Dubai – four hours.
Expected to be up in the air for testing by 2019, the team behind the new engine – Reaction Engines – say the aircraft will be fuelled by hydrogen fuel – making it one of the greenest planes in the sky.
Additionally, it will use new precooler technology that allow the engine to be cooled by 1,000 degrees Celsius in 0.01 seconds. This allows it to travel faster.
The aircraft itself will only be 267 feet long and carry around 300 passengers.
She will go by the name of Skylon [does the name sound familiar to any Battlestar Galactica fans?].
Unlike other planes, Skylon won’t have any windows.
Last year, a similar high-speed aircraft concept named Space Aerospace s-512 was unveiled. She too had giant displays instead of windows.
According to the S-512′s creators going windowless cuts down the weight of the jet, which makes it travel twice as fast as a regular commercial aircraft.
Earlier this month, a British Airways plane flew at almost the speed of sound and broke the record for flying from New York to London in just over five hours.
Winds of more than 200mph pushed the Boeing 777-200 to a ground speed of 745 mph, which is just 16mph below supersonic speed.