Hypersonic is a term that usually associated with military-related projects, but commercial aviation is also trying to revive the concept of ultra-fast flight.
A Beijing-based company “Space Transportation” plans on winged rocket that can soar from Beijing to New York in just one hour.
Chinese aerospace firm is developing a “rocket with wings” designed for space tourism as well as point to point travel.
“We are developing a winged rocket for high-speed, point-to-point transportation, which is lower in cost than rockets that carry satellites and faster than traditional aircraft,” the company said in a recent interview with Yicheng Times.
According to a report from Space.com, the space plane would aim to provide rapid transport between two locations on Earth through suborbital travel and be fully reusable.
The company revealed that ground tests are planned by 2023 with a first flight in 2024 and a crewed flight in 2025. Even more ambitiously, a test flight of a global, or orbital, crewed space vehicle is planned by 2030, the company says.
According to the company’s website, space plane will travel at speed of approximately 2,600 mph (4,184 km/h), meaning that it could fly from New York to London in about an hour.
The company’s website release a video that shows passengers board a plane attached to a large triangular paragliders-like wing featuring two large rocket boosters. After takeoff, the plane detaches from the wing and flies through suborbital space. The wing lands back safely on Earth while the space plane carried on to its destination.