It seems Airbus is serious in making high-speed cargo and passenger planes a success. Last month saw US Patent office approve an Airbus design for an ultra-rapid aerial vehicle for transportation purposes. In simpler words, Airbus has just patented the design of a hypersonic jet that might be carrying passengers across the Atlantic in just one hour!
The new jet is expected to reach the speeds of 4.5 Mach and based on this speed, large distance traveling time would be shortened dramatically, less than one-fifth to be precise. It will also cut short the time taken by the famous Concorde during its flight days by one-third. Concorde incidentally was also a project from Airbus’s preceding companies Aerospatiale and Aerospace. Aside from the speed, Airbus believes that the aircraft will be ale to carry out previously constrained routes like Paris-San Francisco and Dubai-New York.
The patent describes the airplane as an air vehicle having a “gothic” delta wing present on either side of the fuselage and a system of motors used to propel the plane. It also attempts to address the different problems associated with the Concorde and instead of just one type of engine, the new design sees three kinds of engines that power the aircraft together to achieve the insane speeds up to 3,000 mph. In order to take off, the new Airbus design uses a set of turbojets present under the belly of the fuselage as well as rocket motors present at the backside. Right, before the plane reaches Mach 1, the turbojets are retracted into the underbelly, and now only rocket motors power it to a jaw-dropping height of 100,000 feet. Most fighter jets can’t reach that height, so Airbus needs considerable work to make it happen. At this height, the plane would experience almost no traffic in the air, but it will get trickier while descending in a short span of time.
At cruising altitude, the rocket motors will shut down and move into the fuselage just like turbojets. The wing mounted ramjets will then take the aircraft to its top speed of 4.5 Mach. Conventional aircraft fuel won’t be used in this plane as Airbus plans to have Hydrogen containers onboard to power the huge energy demands of its flight. Airbus also plans to remove the problems associated with the flight of Concordes. Much of the new plane’s aerodynamics are designed to reduce the effects of sonic boom and its implications for the structure. The reason behind Concorde’s grounding was that there were frequent complaints of noise pollution due to its large turbojet engines. Instead of becoming a main airliner, it spent the rest of its days carrying wealthy people across the Atlantic on special flights.
With the new Hypersonic jet, Airbus is targeting both the civilians and military markets. The plane can become a private jet for twenty people or become a fast transport for covert operations for the strategic interests of the country or even be used for reconnaissance purposes like SR-71 Blackbird. The use of electromagnetic pulse to disable enemy electronics is becoming more and more common. Just before a bombing run, such an aircraft would make a sweep disabling most of the electronic equipment on the ground or resetting it.
Afterwards, the area can be raided or infiltrated as necessary. Despite what we hear about it, the jet may never reach production as it seems too futuristic at the moment. The insane height, speed and retractable engines will make it very difficult for Airbus engineers to convert into reality. To get a better understanding of the patented idea, have a look at the patent database.
Take a look at this video for a better visual description.