Virgin Galactic has unveiled the design of a supersonic aircraft flying at the speed of Mach 3 which will be the result of a partnership just started with Rolls-Royce.
This would mark a huge step forward in the company's development of a new flight philosophy that hinges on a supersonic aircraft attentive to environmental sustainability.
Practical, safe, reliable
The philosophy exhibited by the companies of Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic is to give the customer experience a top priority.
The design of this aircraft was intended for a variety of operational scenarios, including serving passengers on long-distance commercial aviation routes. The plane would take off and land like any other passenger plane, integrating into existing airport infrastructure and the world's international airspace.
“We are thrilled to unveil this high-speed aircraft design for safe and reliable commercial travel,” he comments George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic.
“We are delighted to partner with Rolls-Royce's innovative team as we strive to develop sustainable and cutting-edge propulsion systems for the aircraft. We are also pleased to work with the national flight agency to ensure that our projects can have a practical impact from the start. "
We have made great progress and are looking forward to opening a new frontier in high-speed travelGeorge Whitesides, Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic
Some details on the project
The basic parameters of the initial design of this new high-speed aircraft include a mach 3 certified delta wing aircraft.
An aircraft that would have a capacity of 9 to 19 people at an altitude in excess of 18.000 km (60.000 feet) and would also be able to incorporate custom cabin layouts to meet customer needs.
From London to New York in two hours, faster than the Concorde. That's why configurations include business or first-class seating.
The project also aims to pave the way for the use of a futuristic sustainable aviation fuel.
Virgin Galactic supersonic aircraft: next steps
After the design team Virgin will now move on to the next phase of the design. It involves defining system architecture and configurations, and determining the materials to be used for aircraft design and production.
The team will also work to address the main challenges of this type of project.
It is about solving problems of thermal management, maintenance, noise, emissions and economy.