COMING SOON TO AN AIRPORT NEAR YOU!
Recently, James Billington wrote in the International Business Times regarding a new aircraft design that will, if it becomes feasible, alter air travel times to warp speed from the United States to Europe. At the same time Qatar Airlines has made a request to have a flight that puts the passenger in the air for almost 19 hours.
First to Mr. Billington’s observations:
A new aircraft design concept has been revealed that could see passengers of the future flying at nearly 12 times faster than Concorde – that’s fast enough to get you from London to New York in just 11 minutes.
There seems to be a new hypersonic jet announced every other week promising the dreamy prospect of long-haul international travel that takes mere minutes to complete, but the Antipode from designer Charles Bombardier is the most salivating yet.
Powered by rocket boosters for take-off, the Antipode would climb to 40,000 feet at Mach 5. From here, its wings would detach and fly themselves back to base – that’s impressive in itself – then the pilot kicks it up a gear by igniting its supersonic engines to hit Mach 24 – or speeds of 12,427 miles an hour.
The Antipode is designed as a private jet and would be able to accommodate up to 10 (extremely wealthy) people to travel across the globe at staggering speeds that’ll barely give passengers enough time to get their gin and tonic. Claimed flight times include New York to London in 11 minutes, New York to Shanghai in 24 minutes and New York to Sydney in 32 minutes.
The design follows Bombardier’s previous hypersonic jet concept, the Skreemr, which set travellers’ tongues wagging with the vision of catapulting passengers at Mach 10 using a magnetic railgun-style system to fling the aircraft into the sky and then use liquid-oxygen rockets to hit high speeds.
The Antipode takes things further and faster, and also attempts to solve the big issue of Bombardier’s previous design, which would suffer from extreme heat from air friction and the massive sonic boom it would create over land.
To combat these effects, the hypersonic jet would use an aerodynamic technique called long penetration mode (LPM) that would channel air flowing over the aircraft through a gap at the front and on to the wings and nose, cooling it down and helping to muffle the noise as it breaks the sound barrier.
As exciting as it all sounds, the idea is still firmly on the pin board of the designer with no mention of what year, decade or century we could be seeing these wickedly fast wings. Besides, when they do land, the cost of a ticket would be so astronomically high that even the world’s richest might prefer slumming it in first class instead.
And now to the FOREVER portion of our blog. How about a flight that lasts almost a day? (That is a LOT of peanuts and beverage service!)
Benjamin Zhang recently reported the following in Business Insider:
Qatar Airways may be about to launch the longest flight in the world.
Airline CEO Akbar Al Baker told Bloomberg last week that Qatar will add an ultra-long-haul route between the company’s hub in Doha and Auckland, New Zealand.
Should Al Baker’s airline go ahead with the nonstop route, it would be the longest continuous flight in the world, with a distance of 9,034 miles that would last 18 1/2 hours.
Currently, the longest flight in the world is Qantas’ Sydney-to-Dallas route, which covers 8,577 miles and last 16 hours 55 minutes, according to Statista.
Next year, Emirates is expected to beat Qantas for the honor with a new route between Dubai and Panama City, Panama. That flight will cover 8,588 miles and last 17 hours 35 minutes.
But all three will be eclipsed when Singapore Airlines relaunches its direct flight from Singapore to New York.
The 9,500-mile, 19-hour affair was discontinued in 2013 due to high fuel costs and the early retirement of the A340-500 aircraft used to operate the flight.
But Singapore announced in October that it will resume the flight after it takes delivery of the airline’s new Airbus A350-900ULR. Although the airline not announced an exact date for the resumption of the route.
Qatar is expected to deploy the airline’s existing fleet of Boeing 777-200LR Worldliners. The Worldliner can carry more than 300 passengers with a range of 9,845 miles.
So if a poll were taken and you were asked which you preferred, which journey would you choose? The travel that gets you there like George Jetson or the Old School Way? That would be an interesting thought process.