Boeing debuts first hypersonic passenger aircraft concept

Boeing engineers unveil images of one of several hypersonic air vehicle concepts.
Officials and engineers at Boeing in Seattle are offering a glimpse into their vision for hypersonic air travel. They have released, for the first time, images of one of the company’s hypersonic air vehicle concepts for potential military and commercial passenger transport.
Boeing unveiled one of several hypersonic vehicle concepts spanning a wide range of potential military and civil applications. Engineers throughout Boeing are working to develop enabling technology to help position the company for the time when customers and markets are ready to reap the benefits of hypersonic flight – which could be decades from now.
Kevin Bowcutt, senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics at Boeing, says that he cannot speculate when hypersonic flight for global travel will be a reality; yet, he adds, it is possible a hypersonic passenger vehicle could be airborne in 20 to 30 years.

“Building the future at Boeing requires looking decades ahead at what could be possible, and innovating now to make it happen. That’s the impetus behind Boeing’s first passenger-carrying hypersonic concept,” a representative explains.
Boeing’s first hypersonic passenger aircraft concept is turning heads, as is the potential to transport travelers between New York and London in just two hours – less than one-third the time it takes today, at an average of seven hours.  
“We’re excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before,” Bowcutt says. “Boeing is building upon a foundation of six decades of work designing, developing, and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles, which makes us the right company to lead the effort in bringing this technology to market in the future.”
Boeing’s hypersonic air vehicle concept and other visions of the company’s future will be on display at Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) in Farnborough, England, July 16 through July 22.

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Courtney E. Howard is editorial director and content strategist at SAE International, Aerospace Product Group. Contact her by e-mail at Continue reading »