This Concept Jet Has Hit Mach 24 (on Paper and in a Man's Head)

By Gary Cutlack on at

Designs for the latest concept jet by the thrillingly named inventor Charles Bombardier have been published, in which the imaginer of fast things has beaten his own previously imagined best -- this time imagining a private plane that could do mach 24.

If made real, Rihanna and her entourage, which may or may not include Lewis Hamilton at the time of writing, could zip about the world in less time than it takes commoners like us to clear the sodding X-ray machines and be made to throw our water in a rubbish bin.

The jet plane, known as the Antipode, could get from New York to London in just 11 minutes were it ever to emerge from Bombardier's head and notepad as an actual thing, thanks in part to using something known as "long penetration mode" -- an aerodynamic concept that helps mitigate the effects of sonic disturbances and extreme friction temperatures at high speeds by redirecting air sucked in through its snub nose.

It's all incredibly sci-fi at this concept stage, with the Antipode's current design using detachable rocket boosters to help it launch from any airport and power it up to mach 5, before the jet's own "supersonic combustion ramjet" engines kick in and the reusable boosters fly themselves back to earth, ready to fire the next group of oligarchs to Dubai for lunch.

Key problems to solve include the actual building of a mainstream scramjet, plus solving the problem of how to make money on flights when there's not enough time for a buffet service to charge children £1.75 for a can of Coke. [Forbes via Shortlist]

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