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Concorde successor would travel from Europe to Sydne...

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  • 9 years ago
Airbus maker EADS's proposed Zero Emission Hyper Sonic Transport (or ZEHST) would carry passengers 20 miles high at a cruising speed of Mach 4, dramatically cutting flight times.

The plane would use rockets engines to push it to a cruising altitude of 20 miles, where faster speeds are easier to achieve because the air is thinner. Ramjets would then propel the pane to a cruising speed of more than 3,000 miles per hour, or Mach 4, allowing to plane to fly from Paris to the US East Coast in an hour, to Tokyo in two-and-a-half hours, and to Sydney in three-and-a-half hours.

Conventional turbofan jet engines would be used for takeoff and landing to make sure the plane is as "quiet" as a conventional passenger jet when it is close to the ground. The now-retired Concorde was not allowed to fly over the continental US because its engines were too loud.

EADS said the ZEHST's jet engines would run on biofuel derived from seaweed. Its rocket engines would run on liquid hydrogen and oxygen, producing only water vapor emissions. EADS said a prototype of the aircraft could be built by 2020 and that the plane could be enter service by 2050.
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