It’s a rocket ship … no, it’s an airplane … no, it’s a rocket plane! Airbus has filed a patent for a high-speed airplane that would be propelled by a rocket motor. Traveling at speeds up to 4.5 times the speed of sound, the aircraft would have the capability of carrying passengers from New York to London in just 60 minutes (that’s a journey that typically takes about 8 hours)!
The U.S. government approved the patented design back in July. The speedy aircraft is being called the Concorde-2 and is rumored to be three times as fast as the original Concorde jet, which retired back in 2003.
While the Concord-2 would take off from a conventional runway, it would use turbojets to shoot straight up into the air. Picture a rocket launching. Of course, designers aren’t keen on the sonic boom and noise pollution caused by a real rocket, so they’ve worked to quiet the Concord-2 engines.
At this moment, the Concord-2 is still a design and hasn’t been built. It’s unclear whether the project will ever carry commercial passengers. According to the patent, Airbus intends to use Concorde-2 primarily for military purposes and would seat up to 19 passengers.