Dreams of high-speed air travel are one step closer to being realized.
Airbus has filed a patent for a “rocket motor”-propelled aircraft that would have the capability of carrying passengers from New York to London in 60 minutes.
Standard airlines complete the journey across the Atlantic in around eight hours.
Called Concorde-2, the supersonic jet would use a combination of three separate engines — turbojets, ramjets and a “rocket-motor” — to propel it through the air, according to the patent.
The U.S. government approved Airbus’ patented design in July that would travel at speeds of up to 4.5 times the speed of sound. This would be three times as fast as the speed of the original Concorde jet, which was retired in 2003, reports the Independent.
The aircraft would take off from a conventional runway, using its turbojets to climb vertically into the air like a rocket. It would level off and fly at 100,000 feet– higher than conventional carriers– and would be fitted with aerodynamics that would make it much quieter than the original Concorde.
One of the limitations to the Concorde was the noise it generated that prevented it from breaking the sound barrier (approx. 767mph) until it was over the ocean, away from populated areas, noted the Independent.
According to the patent, Airbus intends to use Concorde-2 primarily for military purposes and would have a seating limitation of up 19 passengers.
It’s unclear if the project will ever get off the ground, or even if commercial passengers will get access to the service.
But if things take off, you can be sure that not everyone would be able to afford it.
“In the case of civil applications, the market envisaged is principally that of business travel and VIP passengers, who require transcontinental return journeys within one day,” the Airbus patent says.
Meanwhile, a separate attempt to revive the original Concorde is underway by a group of aviation enthusiasts, ex-pilots, airline executives and engineers. Last month, the group said it was prepared to spend $250 million to restore an original Concorde plane and have it back flying by 2019.