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Future jets will fly at 4,000mph

Planes travelling at five times the speed of sound and passenger aircraft flying in formation could be here by the end of this century.

In an idea called "aircraft carrier for the skies", a system could deliver individual plane passengers at or near their front door, said the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME).

Looking towards 2075 and beyond, the report talked of:

•"Scramjet" planes able to fly at around five times the speed of sound (around 4,000mph).

•Commercial aircraft flying in a V-shaped formation to save power by taking advantage of the airflow generated by the plane in front;

•The "aircraft carrier" system in which a large aircraft carries individual units that can be released over a destination and float down to individual destinations.