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27th Jun 2023

Jet startup claims it’ll be able to fly people from New York to London in 90 minutes

Charlie Herbert

Destinus hypersonic jet

‘It’s somewhere of a mix between a rocket and an airplane’

A European company is aiming to develop a hypersonic passenger aircraft that can fly from New York to London in just 90 minutes.

Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that you could make the trip across the pond in as little as three and a half hours, when Concorde was in operation.

But just over two decades ago, Air France retired the aircraft from service due to safety concerns and operating costs.

So for years, passengers have had to accept flights to New York that take almost eight hours, and the world has not seen a commercial supersonic aircraft since.

A European company is hoping to change this though.

Startup Destinus has revealed its plans for a hypersonic passenger plane that would be able to travel roughly five times the speed of sound.

Destinus L could carry 300-400 passengers (Destinus)

One of the designs is for a business jet, called the Destinus S. This could carry around 25 people and cruise at an altitude of around 108,000ft – far higher than the usual cruising altitude of a Boeing 737, which is around 41,000ft.

At a speed of Mach five (around five times the speed of sound), the aircraft would theoretically be able to travel from Paris to New York in just an hour and a half.

The company also has designs for a commercial aircraft called the Destinus L that would be able to carry 300-400 people.

Before you start planning a mini-break to the Big Apple though, you should know the plans and designs for this are still very much in the development stage.

Destinus expect the first deliveries of the S model to be available in the early 2030s, with Destinus L coming in the 2040s, Insider reports.

At the Paris Air show, senior business development manager Martina Löfqvist said: “It’s somewhere of a mix between a rocket and an airplane.

“We’ve been speaking with a lot of airlines and airports who also support the notion that hydrogen will be the future of aviation.”

The first deliveries for Destinus L hope to be available by the 2040s (Destinus)

The aircraft will use liquid hydrogen fuel and ramjet engines for power. Meanwhile and turbo will be combined with an afterburner to take the jet from the sedentary pace of subsonic to supersonic speeds.

And a ramjet will then take it to the unprecedented pace of hypersonic.

The use of hydrogen fuel is a very deliberate choice, as hydrogen is an effective cooling agent. So, this will ensure the aircraft doesn’t overheat.

In fact, Löfqvist described hydrogen power as being “the core of the company,” saying that it is three times more efficient than traditional jet fuel and doesn’t release carbon emissions.

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