Wednesday 23 May 2018

Fly from Dublin to New York in less than 10 minutes via Antipode jet

Antiopode jet

Lauren Davidson

In today's world of on-demand services and non-stop connectivity, a seven-hour flight across the Atlantic can feel interminable.

But a new design for a luxury business jet could get you from London to New York in 11 minutes – and from New York to Sydney in half an hour.

The Antipode is a 10-seater aircraft that would be able to travel at 12,427 miles per hour.

The concept is classed as Mach 24 – which means it travels 24 times faster than the speed of sound, 12 times faster than Concorde and one Mach number below re-entry speed.

Charles Bombardier, the Canadian inventor, released a concept design last year for the Skreemr, a jet that would be able to fly at Mach 10.

Travelling at 7,673 miles per hour, the 75-seater Skreemr would get from the UK to the east coast the US in around 30 minutes.

"During time-sensitive crises, it would transport highly ranked officials across the globe in a matter of hours."

Charles Bombardier

However, Mr Bombardier confessed his concerns that materials "able to withstand the heat, pressure and structural stress" of the aircraft had not yet been invented.

The sonic boom – the noise made when breaking the sound barrier – would also be a problem and is seen as one of the main contributors to the failure of Concorde.

But Joseph Hazeltine, an aerospace engineer at Wyle, which works with NASA among others, approached Mr Bombardier with a solution to these problems, called "long penetration mode" or LPM.

The idea is that a nozzle on the Antipode's nose would suck in air, creating counter-flowing jets of air over the surface of the plane, which would cool down the aircraft and muffle the sonic boom.

The Antipode would take off using the force of rocket boosters attached to its wings, which would detach from the aircraft at 40,000ft when the jet had reached Mach 5.

The aircraft’s onboard computer would then ignite its supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine and accelerate up to Mach 24 at 40,000ft.

The plane's wings would have enough lift to glide and land on a standard 6,000ft runway, Mr Bombardier said.

Despite the advances made from the Skreemr to the Antipode, several problems remain – not least that a scramjet engine has yet to be developed.

And Mr Bombardier expects that each plane could cost well over $150m (£105m) to build.

"The Antipode could be used as business or military aircraft to transport two highly ranked officials across the globe (up to 20,000km) in less than an hour," Mr Bombardier said.

"During time-sensitive crises, it would transport highly ranked officials across the globe in a matter of hours."

The race for speedier air travel has taken off since the Concorde was grounded in 2003.

Airbus recently filed for a patent for a supersonic jet that could cut the flight time from London to New York to one hour, while other aviation companies such as Spike and Aerion are working on similar developments.

Last year, Nasa pledged $2.3m in funding for research into supersonic flight.

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