British firm HyperMach has unveiled its concept for a new supersonic passenger jet capable of flying from London to New York in just two hours – half the time of the previous fastest passenger jet Concorde. The SonicStar plane was unveiled at the Paris Air Show last week, with HyperMach announcing plans to have the engine built by the end of this decade and the full plane by 2025.
A trip from New York to Sidney will see an even more significant cut, taking just five hours down from the 20 hours it currently takes. The plane – which seats just 20 passengers – is capable of a top speed of Mach 3.6, nearly four times the speed of sound. Its cruising speed, however, will be a slightly more conservative Mach 3.1 courtesy of its revolutionary S-MAGJET hybrid gas turbine engine.
Chief executive of HyperMach, Richard Lugg, said: “Mankind has always been inspired to do things better, quicker and faster and that is our ambition.” HyperMach claims that thanks to relatively low fuel consumption, SonicStar “overcomes the economic and environmental challenges of supersonic flight to revolutionise the way we travel and drive air transportation forward into the future”.
The aircraft will fly at around 62,000 feet with a range of 6,000 nautical miles. But the truly revolutionary part of the design is the reduction in emissions compared to current jet engine technology. HyperMach claims “the engine is a true hybrid. It generates massive electrical power on board using proprietary integrated turbine electromagnetic generation technology to segment each engine rotating component stage electrically.”
The spokesperson went on to say: “Every stage from bypass fans to compressor to turbine, rotates independently of the other.” This design will allow the engine to change its operating speeds dynamically throughout the flight in response to changing environmental conditions, ensuring the engine is always performing with the most economical fuel consumption possible at any given time, leading, HyperMach claims, to a 30-35 per cent reduction in fuel consumption over current supersonic technology.