A new hypersonic jet, ZEHST for Zero Emission Hypersonic Transportation, was revealed at the Paris Air Show Sunday. The super-fast and super-efficient jet will be able to fly from London to Tokyo in two hours.
According to the Daily Mail, the new jets use three sets of engines and will be able to reach speeds of 3,125 mph, approximately four times the speed of sound. The hypersonic jet is propelled with a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, making it virtually emission free and is said to be no louder than today’s modern planes.
The project was developed by Airbus’s parent company EADS. EADS expects the planes to be able to carry approximately 100 passengers. It is compared by many to the Concorde. Innovation and technology director of EADS, Jean Botti, told the Daily Mail: “”It is not a Concorde but it looks like a Concorde, showing that aerodynamics of the 1960s were already very smart. The plane would fly just above the atmosphere, meaning it could fly at more than 3,000 mph.”
Once the plane reaches a certain height, the pilot would engage a pair of rocket engines that would propel the aircraft to much greater speeds. The jet will reach new heights soaring above the atmosphere, utilizing a final set of engines known as ramjets. Ramjets are currently used in missiles and travel at speeds over 1,000 mph.
Flying above the atmosphere would allow a much quieter plane ride for passengers, and the use of hydrogen and oxygen, bio-fuels made from seaweed, makes it the most eco-friendly aircraft to date.
Aviation experts speculate that the jets major flaw is its limited passenger capacity. Many also note the real difficulty is getting a completely new aircraft off the drawing board and into the skies. It will be another 40 years before commercial flights take place, but by 2040 the hypersonic ZEHST jet is expected to soar.