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An aerospace startup company has been looking to develop a hypersonic aircraft. Hermeur Corp. has announced plans to develop an aerial vehicle that is capable of flying at about five times the speed of sound.
The company’s main goal is to develop an aircraft that will significantly reduce travel times for long haul flights, further tightening the connection of major cities across the world.
According to Hermeus.com, the aircraft being designed will have a flight range of 4,600 miles. The company also claims that the jet will be able to reach mach 5 speeds, which is equal to about 3,300 miles per hour. Such speeds will be able to shorten a seven hour New York to London flight to only about one and a half hours.
The company also claims that the aircraft will be operational with minimal changes to the current aviation infrastructure.
A hypersonic passenger jet can be revolutionary for the international economy. The aggregate of the number of hours saved due to shorter travel times will have a great economic impact, not to mention the likelihood of better international diplomacy since shortening travel times effectively brings countries closer together.
However, supersonic commercial flight has already been attempted in the past via the Concorde. With commercial flights starting in 1976 and ending in 2003, the Concorde was the first attempt to effectively shorten flight times. The turbojet airliner was capable of reaching mach 2.04, or 1,354 miles per hour, making a New York to London flight in approximately three and a half hours.
A major reason why the Concorde eventually failed was due to its high fuel demand. A turbojet engine burns significantly more fuel than a traditional turboprop or turbofan engine, this caused prices to rise significantly.
The Concorde was also heavily limited with where it could fly. The Concorde would mainly fly over unpopulated areas, such as the Atlantic ocean, since the aircraft would create sonic booms which were a huge nuisance to anyone on the ground below the jet.
The jet was also relatively uncomfortable and very loud. Eventually, people realized that a 7 hour New York to London flight in business class is better than a 3.5 hour flight on the Concorde, especially considering that the prices were more or less the same.
The Concorde was ahead of its time. The low demand for supersonic flight at the time was the main reason why the jet ceased to exist. Hopefully, more than 16 years after the Concorde’s retirement, the world may be ready for Hermeus’ hypersonic commercial jet.