British engineers have revealed plans to launch a hypersonic aircraft to reduce ultra long haul flights to less than five hours.
The engineering company Reaction Engines, based in Oxfordshire, UK, has designed the A2 aircraft which could carry 300 passengers from Europe to Australia at a speed of almost 4,000mph (6,400km/h).
The team of project LAPCAT (Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies), supported by European Space Agency, says the A2 vehicle could capture all of the current business and first class traffic due to the greatly reduced journey time of 4.6h compared to the current 22 hours.
© Reaction Engines
The hypersonic A2 aircraft which could carry 300 passengers from Europe to Australia at a speed of almost 4,000 mph (6,400 kmh)
But "unlike Concorde, the A2 vehicle has a range of approx 20,000km both subsonic and supersonic and is able to service a large number of routes whilst simultaneously avoiding supersonic overflight of populated areas. Its good subsonic performance enables it to service conventional subsonic overland routes thereby increasing its sales potential to airlines."