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Airbus patents hypersonic aircraft that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Published 04/08/2015

Airbus invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor. Image: YouTube/PatentYogi
Airbus invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor. Image: YouTube/PatentYogi

A new hypersonic aircraft patented by Airbus could cut the journey time between London and New York to just one hour.

The application to patent an "ultra-rapid air vehicle and related method of aerial locomotion" was approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office last month - just over four years after it was filed.

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor.

The French aircraft maker hopes it will be able to move at twice the speed of Concorde, which cruised at 1350 miles per hour before it was retired in 2003.

Airbus' proposed design could therefore shave two and a half hours off Concorde's journey time between London and New York, according to Business Insider.

Traditional commercial aircraft currently take around seven hours to travel between the two cities.

Other long haul journeys could also be cut dramatically. Airbus is aiming to make the almost 5600 mile trip from Paris to San Francisco in three hours with the hypersonic jet.

In its application, Airbus said that the "market envisaged [for the potential new aircraft] is principally that of business travel and VIP passenger".

But it also sees a future for it in military operations, for example, “strategic reconnaissance, ultra-rapid transport of high added-value goods, and also equipped elite commandos”.

Concorde, which was run by Air France and British Airways, was taken out of service amid falling passenger numbers after a horrific crash in 2000 and declining air travel following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic had wanted to buy the supersonic fleet and keep them in the air but British Airways declined his approach.

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