Boeing has unveiled its futuristic passenger-carrying hypersonic concept for the future as it debuted it at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Atlanta this week.
The concept is larger than a long-range business aircraft, but much smaller than Boeing’s 737, and Boeing said it could enter service by the mid/late 2030s.
Boeing said the hypersonic aircraft could fly at Mach 5 with an altitude ceiling of 95,000 feet, which is 2.5 times faster and 30,000 feet higher than the Concorde, a supersonic passenger aircraft, which operated from 1976 to 2003.
There suggestions it may be capable of crossing the Atlantic in two hours or the Pacific in three hours.
The aircraft manufacturer said: “Building the future at Boeing requires looking decades ahead at what could be possible, and innovating now to make it happen.”
Boeing said the passenger concept could have military or commercial applications and this is just one of several hypersonic vehicle concepts spanning a wide range of potential applications company engineers are studying.
Engineers are working companywide to develop enabling technology will position the company for the time when customers and markets are ready to reap the benefits of hypersonic flight.
Senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics, Kevin Bowcutt said: “We’re excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before.
“Boeing is building upon a foundation of six decades of work designing, developing and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles, which makes us the right company to lead the effort in bringing this technology to market in the future.”
Bowcutt said he cannot speculate when hypersonic flight for global travel will be a reality, he says it’s possible a hypersonic passenger vehicle could be airborne in 20 to 30 years.
The concept, along with other visions of Boeing’s future, will be on display at Farnborough Air show in July.
About four months ago China also revealed its plan to design a hypersonic passenger aircraft.