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New Concorde Will Be Faster, Quieter and Even More Futuristic

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it a rocket? Actually, the Concorde-2 is a plane with rocket boosters, and it could be coming to an airport near you. Hypersonic Craft is go!

Airbus has announced plans for a new and improved Concorde — simply called Concorde-2 — that could travel 4.5 times the speed of sound, making it faster (by more than double) and, all importantly, quieter than ­­­­the original Concorde. If plans run smoothly, then lift-off may become less sci-fi and more reality by 2022.

The Airbus was patented in July this year and drawings recently revealed how it could transform the travel market, making long flights shorter than many people’s commutes. Journeys like London to New York would be possible in just 60 minutes, instead of seven hours. This could be the end of watching bad films on repeat, getting restless legs, and trying to keep the kids entertained for hours on end.

Airbus suggests the market for the new aircraft would be “principally that of business travel and VIP passengers, who require transcontinental return journeys within one day” but there are also various military applications.

Getting off the ground is a standard affair as two turbo jets are used for taxiing and take off from a conventional runway. However, once the plane reaches a high enough altitude, the rocket engine is ignited and the supersonic craft climbs vertically, so you really would feel like you were travelling in a spacecraft. At 100,000 feet, wing-mounted ramjets take over, pushing the craft to its final speed of Mach 4.5, where it will glide horizontally through the air before making its descent.

All that change in direction at high speed makes flight by Concorde-2 sound like the world’s biggest rollercoaster but passengers and cabin crew would have hammock-style seats, meaning the journey would be as smooth as it is quick.

The Concorde-2 has been dubbed the ‘son of Concorde’. The original entered service in 1976 but was plagued with criticism about it being too loud and retired in 2003 due to a downturn in the aviation industry.

The latest vision for Concorde will be quieter for a number of reasons – its far greater altitude of 100,000 feet (compared to 60,000 feet), its vertical trajectory, meaning the energy of the supersonic bang is dissipated in horizontal directions so it doesn’t encounter the ground, and the shape of the plane body and nose.

Despite being high-tech, the new craft will only be able to carry 20 passengers and two members of crew so demand is set to be high. If you want the flight of your life, get in the queue early, make sure you have your passports to hand and boarding passes ready – but do bear in mind that flights are bound to be extremely expensive. You better get saving now….

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