The Skreemr is a concept jet that would travel at ten times the speed of sound. (Rendering: Bombardier/Ray Mattison Design Eye-Q)
We live in pretty cool times. We’ve already got wearable technology, video calls, and a host of other gadgets foretold by Back to the Future II. We’ve even got jet packs. But we still have a way to go in the area of supersonic travel. Since the Concorde was retired in 2003, transatlantic flyers have been forced to twiddle their thumbs on airplanes for about seven hours each way.
Happily for restless travelers, that could change soon: Super-supersonic jets are on the way! In the Globe and Mail’s Prototypes column, Canadian engineer and inventor Charles Bombardier recently outlined his vision for an incredibly fast jet that would take passengers from New York to London in about 30 minutes.
The concept plane is called the Skreemr (which, if you ask us, sounds more like a thrill ride at an amusement park than a way to get to a business meeting quickly), and the power behind it is known as “scramjet technology.”
The Skreemr’s speed comes from a combination of four wings, two rockets, and a scramjet engine. (Rendering: Bombardier/Ray Mattison Design Eye-Q)
Bombardier’s Skreemr would have four wings and two rear rockets, and it would take off by means of either a magnetic-railgun or an electric launching system. Either way, he writes, the launch system “would need to be long enough to achieve supersonic speed without taxing the passengers with too much g-force.” The rockets then kick in to ignite the scramjet engine, speeding the whole thing up to Mach 10, a speed five times faster than that of the Concorde — so fast, in fact, that it knocked the last e right out of the jet’s name.
The concept aircraft would carry 75 brave passengers, if it ever becomes a reality. Right now, scramjet designs are only being tossed around for military drones (developed by the U.S. and China), but Bombardier’s dream is to use these superfast engines to fly people someday. At a speed of Mach 10, or 7,673 mph, your 3,500-mile trip from New York to London would take approximately half an hour. That’s fast enough for even the most impatient traveler … at least until someone figures out teleportation.