Ever wonder what it’s like to travel at Mach 4.5? Well Airbus wants you to eventually find out with their new design for what the patents refer to as “ultra-rapid air vehicle and related method for aerial locomotion“.
Dubbed the Concorde 2.0 – the new plane design is considered “hypersonic” and would be capable of Mach 4.5, blowing the original Concorde plane out of the….. out of the… there’s a phrase I’m missing here. Oh! blowing the original Concorde out of the water and its speed of a mere Mach 2 and change.
Traveling at 4 and a half times the speed of sound isn’t a figure we can quite wrap our heads around, but at those speeds you could make the trip from New York to London in about an hour. That’s a trip that currently takes around 8 hours and when the original Concorde was in service took about 3.5. To put it another way: A flight that currently takes more than half a season of Doctor Who will soon only be about an episode and a half gate to gate. The design of this plane is drastically different than anything in use these days, especially commercially, and actually looks and operates more like a real-life rocket ship.
In order to avoid the same issue the Concorde originally had – which ultimately lead to it being decommissioned in 2003 due to high operating costs and being banned from flying at high speeds over land – the Concorde 2.0 will avoid mucking up the civilized world with ear shattering sonic booms with a flight plan that really does resemble that of a space shuttle. Soon after take-off the craft would climb at a near vertical angle with the assistance of a rear rocket into the upper atmosphere. In doing so, breaking the sound barrier would be dissipated horizontally meaning the the noise created by the craft would never quite reach the ground at any disturbing levels. Once at altitude, ramjets would take over propelling the plane at speeds of Mach 4.5, high enough where it can be just about as loud as it wants to be. The best part? Hammock seats! In order to transition for all the horizontal and vertical changes a flight like this would entail the patent describes – say it with me folks – hammock-like seats for passengers!
YouTuber PatentYogi created an incredibly detailed and informative animation of a potential flight path of the Concorde 2.0. Describing it as the “highest roller-coaster ride in the world” which is both an accurate and somewhat nerve-wracking description when you remember you’d be lounging in a hammock.
Pretty neat right? Well, don’t start lining up for tickets just yet. Unfortunately the Concorde 2.0 and other such “hyper-sonic” travel options might literally be a few decades away at this point as the patent was originally filed by Airbus back in 2011 and at the time stated it may not be a viable mode of transport for another 30-40 years.
I for one am happy that my 3rd grade drawing of Hyper-sonic rocket-ship sky hammocks is FINALLY becoming a reality. But what do you think of the Concorde 2.0? Let us know in the comments!