Airbus Applied For Patent For Hypersonic Jet (FRA:AIR)

Airbus Group has announced that is developing a new hypersonic passenger jet and has filed for a patent on the aircraft. The European aircraft manufacturer described the technology in the patent application as an “ultra-rapid air vehicle and related method of aerial locomotion.” The patent application has already been approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The patent described the jet as “an air vehicle including a fuselage, a gothic delta wing positioned either side of the fuselage, and a system of motors able to propel the air vehicle.” The aircraft can cruise at a speed of more than 3,000 mph using three different types of engines. The jet would accommodate 20 passengers.

The jet takes off vertically like the Space Shuttle using two turbojets to lift off. A rocket motor mounted in the rear allows the jet to reach an altitude of more than 100,000 feet before shutting down at cruising altitude. A pair of wing-mounted ramjets would help the plane reach its top speed once it has reached cruising altitude.

The new hypersonic passenger jet could travel as fast as Mach 4.5, about four and a half times faster than the speed of sound. At that speed, the aircraft would be able to travel between London and New York in about an hour. This would be three times faster than what was achievable with the Concorde supersonic passenger jet, retired in 2003.

Airbus says that the new hypersonic jet could cut the travel time between Paris and San Francisco, or Tokyo and Los Angeles, down to three hours from the current ten hours it takes with today’s passenger jets. Airbus plans to use the aircraft for both civilian and military purposes. Another variant of the jet, armed with high-power electromagnetic pulse weapons, has also been proposed by Airbus.