Hypersonic Jet, ZEHST, Revealed At Paris Air Show
A new hypersonic jet, dubbed ZEHST for Zero Emission Hypersonic Transportation, was revealed at the Paris Air Show on Sunday.
The plane, which debuted in mockup form, will reach speeds of 3,125 mph, or roughly four times the speed of sound (Mach 4), the Daily Mail reports.
Seen as an heir to the Concorde, the plane will be propelled by a mix of hydrogen and oxygen, making it virtually emission free.
The project is being overseen by Airbus' parent company, EADS, based in Toulouse, France. EADS expects the planes to carry roughly 100 passengers, and expects that the aircraft will be able to launch for a regular runway, omitting the "sonic boom" noises of the Concorde.
Flights that once took hours will be cut to minutes. Flying from London to Istanbul could take 30 minutes, while flights to New York from London could take about an hour. More astonishing? A flight from London to Tokyo would take 2 hours.
Innovation and technology director of EADS, Jean Botti, told the Daily Mail: "It is not a Concorde but it looks like a Concorde, showing that aerodynamics of the 1960s were already very smart. The plane would fly just above the atmosphere, meaning it could fly at more than 3,000 mph."
There are two major downsides to the project. David Kaminski-Morrow, an air transport editor, told the Daily Mail: "The real difficulty is the economic of making a completely new type of aircraft work. It will take billion to take it off the drawing board and into the skies. But will there be an appetite to build an aircraft that does not take an awful lot of passengers?" The other? Oh, yea, it's about 40 years off.
Here's to the future!
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