Oscar Vials, a Spanish designer, says that an amazing new plane could cut the time it takes to fly across the Atlantic by more than five times. Oscar’s images are the latest in a long line of futuristic designs that have gone popular. They show a super-streamlined jet, which Oscar calls the Hyper Sting, flying through the sky and taking people from one place to another in record time.
The idea uses a mix of possible nuclear systems based on “cold fusion” and new Mach 3.5 technology. Mach is the measure of a body’s speed to the speed of sound. Mach 1 is the speed of sound, Mach 2 is twice the speed of sound, and so on. The plane would fly through the air at almost 2,500mph, which is almost five times the normal speed of commercial passenger planes that take up to eight hours to get from London to New York. If the plans for the jet came true, the famous transatlantic route would only take 80 minutes.
Concorde was the last commercial plane to fly faster than the speed of sound. It was driven by four Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 turbojets and flew the popular route in a record time of 2 hours, 52 minutes, and 59 seconds. Before the rise of web chat technology, it was seen as the pinnacle of aircraft technology. It made it possible to shorten business trips from weeks to days or even hours.
Concorde ruled the skies for many decades until it was taken out of service in 2003. This was partly because of rising costs and the sad crash that killed 113 people in July 2000.
The Hyper Sting is 328 feet long, which is more than 100 feet longer than the famous Boeing 747-400 that many airlines around the world use right now. With a wing span of 169 feet and the ability to move up to 170 people, it would be a force to be reckoned with on the runways of Heathrow and beyond.
Even though Oscar’s designs are just ideas at the moment, he says that long-haul flying times will definitely get shorter as new aviation technologies become available to the public. Innovative technology like this is only used by the military right now. The North American X-15, which is no longer in use, reached an amazing speed of 4,520 miles per hour (Mach 6.7) over 50 years ago.
Even though the designer from Barcelona thinks the idea is a glimpse of the not-too-distant future, there are questions about how much it would cost to make such a jet, which is what led to the end of Concorde.
Oscar’s idea is the latest in a long line of unique flight plans. Just recently, Hashem Al-Ghaili’s reimagining of Tony Holmsten’s idea for a flying hotel that never lands went viral.
We don’t know where the future of air travel will take us in a world that cares about the environment and is short on time, but we’re sure there will be a lot more changes to the way we travel now.