If you’ve ever wanted to hop on an airplane after breakfast in New York and make it to London before lunch (ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous), a Boston-based aerospace company has the vehicle for you – a supersonic jet that can purportedly reach maximum speeds of Mach 1.8 (or 1,370 mph).
At that velocity, Spike Aerospace’s S-512 Supersonic Jet could make the trip from the Big Apple to the capital of England in just three hours, according to Discovery News. That’s nearly twice as quick as the fastest Boeing 747 commercial jumbo jet’s top speed of Mach 0.92 (700 mph).
On its website, Spike claims the S-512 is 450 mph faster than any other civilian jet, and that it could allow passengers to travel from “Paris to Dubai for shopping and entertainment” and get them “back home in time for dinner.” If it truly can reach those speeds, that would make it as fast as an F-18 Hornet military fighter jet! It’s all thanks to a handful of recent modifications.
Like something out of a science-fiction movie
As Anutosh Moitra, a senior engineer at Spike Aerospace, explained to LiveScience that while the plane was originally unveiled in 2013, its newly-designed “delta” wings are what allows it to reach such blistering speeds. The new wing “delivers high aerodynamic efficiency and improves flight performance in both low-speed flight and supersonic cruise,” he said.
In addition to the shape of the wings, Moitra said the S-512’s modified tail helps it reduce drag (air resistance), a force that normally causes planes to slow down and decreases their fuel efficiency. The new tail makes the aircraft lighter, which could also increase its speed. It also has a cabin with panoramic views, on top of being very suitable for business presentations.
Spike president and CEO Vik Kachoria called supersonic travel “the future of aviation. It makes the world smaller and more accessible. For any competitive global business, cutting flight times in half will have significant value. But for people who have busy global lives and want to spend time with the people they love, the Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet will be a necessity.”
While LiveScience said the jet looks like “something out of a very fancy science-fiction movie,” they added that the luxury will obviously come at a price. Reports indicate the S-512 will most likely cost between $60 million and $80 million.
(Image credit: Spike Aerospace)