Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paris Toyko in 2.5 Hours

In the end we have a glider for most of the trip as the fuel will hardly last beyond getting the craft up to altitude and speed.  It must be supersonic at that altitude and likely flying at near mach 10, yet high enough to avoid the worst effects of drag.

I really do not think we will see something like this unless we have a pressing military need for this capability.  It is nice to dream. 

Long before that perhaps we will have an operational MFEV or magnetic field exclusion vessel able to loft up to the altitudes involved for rapid flight.  Thirty years is along time in aircraft and physics.

I would rather see an effort made to build an underground tunnel point to point which is then evacuated of air allowing high velocity trains doing mach 10.  Tunneling has new materials available and could be sped up.  At least an evacuated tunnel ends the problem of air drag and related heat build up.

New rocketplane 'could fly Paris-Tokyo in 2.5 hours'

AFP – Sun, 19 Jun, 2011

A computer-generated image from the European defense group EADS shows the so-called …

European aerospace giant EADS on Sunday unveiled its "Zero EmissionHypersonic Transportation" (Zehst) rocket plane it hopes will be able to fly from Paris to Tokyo in 2.5 hours by around 2050.

"I imagine the plane of the future to look like Zehst," EADS' chief technical officer Jean Botti said as the project was announced at Le Bourget airport the day before the start of the Paris International Air Show.

The low-pollution plane to carry between 50 and 100 passengers will take off using normal engines powered by biofuel made from seaweed before switching on its rocket engines at altitude.

The rocket engines, powered by hydrogen and oxygen whose only exhaust is water vapour, propel the plane to a cruising altitude of 32 kilometres (20 miles), compared to today's passenger jets which fly at around 10,000 metres.

"You don't pollute, you're in the stratosphere," Botti said.

To land, the pilot cuts the engines and glides down to Earth before reigniting the regular engines before landing.

EADS hopes to have a prototype built by 2020 and for the plane to eventually enter service around 2050.

The project is being developed in collaboration with Japan and uses technology that is already available.

A four-metre model of the plane, which looks similar to the now defunct Concorde supersonic jet, will be on show at Bourget for the biannual aerospace showcase which begins on Monday and opens to the general public on Friday.

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