Great news for future business travellers! If you think Concorde planes – traveling at twice the speed of sound – were fast, prepare to be blown away by what’s (supposedly) coming next. A new concept design for a hypersonic aircraft called the Skreemr is on the radar and, among the many similar concepts we’ve heard of recently, this one’s by far the most ambitious.
Designed by Charles Bombardier and rendered in pretty pictures by artist Ray Mattison, the futuristic aircraft would hit speeds of around Mach 10 – ten times the speed of sound, or roughly 8,000 Mp/h / 12,870 Km/h – by means of a magnetic railgun launching pad and a scramjet engine that uses Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere as fuel. If the specs don’t do it for you, maybe the renderings will (gallery above).
The plane (if we can call it that), would traverse the Atlantic reaching New York from London in under 30 minutes. Technically, it’s doable. Practically, it will sit on paper for a very long time because of several giant roadblocks: costs, maintenance, sonic boom (10 of them, to be precise), heat, and others.
The good news is that current manufacturing technologies, materials, and improvements in aerodynamics make some of those problems go away, albeit not entirely. The jet could theoretically switch from traditional jet propulsion to scramjet as it flies over the ocean, but security will undoubtedly play a crucial role in its development. Don’t expect the Skreemr to leave any smoke trails soon.
So, would you board this sky-tearing rocket for a trip to The Big Apple on which you wouldn’t have time to grab lunch?