This is the Hermeus Quarterhorse, a hypersonic jet that can cover the distance between New York City and London in less than 60 minutes.
And for reference, ‘hypersonic’ means it can do five and a half times the speed of sound.
The US Air Force, together with a company based in Atlanta, is developing the jet for military as well as commercial use.
This would be a total game-changer.
Some experts in the aviation industry say supersonic flights are completely possible.
That means we will be able to fly at Mach 1, or 761 mph, which is what most people know as the ‘speed of sound’.
Mind you, that’s nothing compared to a hypersonic jet that can fly at Mach 5.5, or 4,220 mph.
At that speed, nearly every route you can think of could be covered in an hour or less and you could virtually fly anywhere in the world in less than three hours.
New York to Dubai? That’s about an hour and a half.
New York to Perth, Australia? Less than three hours.
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So how would that be possible?
It has two sets of turbines: the first turbine is used to take off and then, once the jet is airborne, it starts feeding air into the second turbine.
There’s more good news because the Quarterhorse is an autonomous jet, which means the US Air Force and Hermeus can test prototypes without risking pilots’ lives.
It’s an ambitious plan and the deadlines sound incredibly optimistic.
The company said it wants to begin testing a small-scale version as early as next year, a mid-size cargo version in 2025 and the final product, a commercial jet designed to accommodate passengers, in 2029.