Supersonic business jets are on their way, the man hailed as the saviour of engine giant Rolls-Royce predicted at EBACE today.
Speaking at the opening session, Sir Ralph Robins, retired chairman of the UK engine manufacturer, said that the technology and the business need was “very close to making a business jet capable of travelling at Mach 1.6 without audible sound waves”.
Robins, a regular business aviation user when he ran Rolls-Royce, said that coming up with an economic powerplant, using the core of a large jet engine, would “not be too difficult”.
He also said there would be a big market for a supersonic business jet, particularly from executives who need to fly from Europe to Asia or across the Pacific.
“Being able to fly over the ground at supersonic speeds would be magic,” said Robins. “I would love to be the first person to fly on a supersonic business aircraft.”
He recounted a trip he took from Columbus, Ohio to Seoul, South Korea in a business jet while with Rolls-Royce. “We had a 250kt [460km/h] headwind on the nose and had to do a forced stop in the Aleutians. The journey took forever and made me more convinced than ever of the case for supersonic business travel.”