Chinese researchers claim the jet could reach 6,000 km/h, five times faster than the speed of sound
A revolution in supersonic air travel is happening in the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing as a team of researchers has designed an aircraft that can reach the speed of 6,000 km/h – five times faster than the speed of sound.
The new jet could shorten the travel time from Beijing to New York from 13 hours to two, Cui Kai, who led the research and published a paper on the new design in this month’s Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy journal said.
“It will take only a couple of hours to travel from Beijing to New York at hypersonic speed,” Kai said in a statement.
The team claims to have tested a scaled-down model of the aircraft in a wind tunnel, which is usually used for testing Chinese weapon prototypes. The model managed to reach the speed of 8,600 km/h with high lift and low drag.
The legendary Concorde, in comparison, managed to reach the top speed of 2,179 km/h.
The plane features two layers of wings, which help to reduce turbulence and drag while creating more lift.
The topic of hypersonic speed has been discussed across research institutions lately as various manufacturers aim to develop faster planes.
“It’s certainly within the realm of possibility,” Dr Kevin Bowcutt, senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics for Boeing Research and Technology, told NBC last month. “I think we have the technology now where we could actually do it.”
Another company, Supersonic Boom, aims to reduce travel time from London to New York to three hours by 2025 while using an aircraft reaching 1,687mph, 100 mph faster than Concorde and 2.6 times faster than any other aircraft currently available.