Supersonic commercial air travel has been missing from the aviation industry Air France and British Airways retired the iconic Concorde from service 15 years ago. While companies like Richard Branson-backed Boom Technology and Aerion Corporation in partnership with Airbus are trying to bring back supersonic air travel, Boeing has gone one step ahead and revealed its plans to introduce a mind-bendingly fast hypersonic passenger jet in the coming decades. The Seattle-based company released the first sketch of an early prototype during a conference in Atlanta a couple of days back.
The term ‘hypersonic’ generally refers to speed of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound; that’s about 3,900 miles per hour. The Concorde was capable of Mach 2.02, taking three and a half hours to fly from New York to London. In comparison, the Boeing jet will take just two hours to complete the trip. Boeing said that the design rendering showcased at the conference is just a concept and the company is at least two decades away from the hypersonic jet taking to the skies. “Boeing is building upon a foundation of six decades of work designing, developing and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles, which makes us the right company to lead the effort in bringing this technology to market in the future,” said Kevin Bowcutt, senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics at the Boeing.