When you are flying in something like the awesome Etihad First Apartment cabins or even Qatar’s QSuites, it is sometimes a wish that the flight could just keep on going (at least for me!). But, if you are flying in economy, a 11 hour flight can be quite a drag. But, the day may come that that 11 hour flight gets cut to just 3 hours, thanks to Boeing!
Fly from the US to Tokyo in 3 Hours?
Yesterday, Boeing revealed their rendering of their design that would create a new era of flight – a new hypersonic aircraft that could fly at speeds of over 3,800 miles per hour! What that would translate to for the time in the air is a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo lasting just 3 hours and a flight from New York City to London happening in just 2 hours (it took a little more than 50% longer for the Concorde to do that).
Think about that – it could take you longer to get to the airport in New York City than it would take for your flight to get to London! That is just incredible!
The aircraft would be smaller than Boeing’s own 737 and reach speeds of Mach 5. It would travel at 95,000 feet. The materials to be used would be key to allow this aircraft to fly at such speeds. Another thing to note is that these planes could actually cover the distance faster but it will be the takeoff and landings that will need to happen at much lower speeds that would slow down the total trip time.
I saw dates of as early as the 2030s when such a plane could be put into service (I think that is pretty ambitious though, probably more like 2040 before passenger travel is a reality). Obviously, the question is going to be, will airlines be interested enough for Boeing to sink the massive amount of money it will cost for this plane into this plane. And, what will the cost be for the consumer?
There will definitely be thousands of passengers that would shell out the money for such quick flights. Imagine the business people that could “hop” over to Tokyo for a meeting and then return – the same day?! The same could happen for London flights.
But, what about branching beyond those markets? Of course, these planes would need to be utilized on the dense market areas that could afford such tickets. However, could we see a day when these airplanes would jump people all over the globe at reasonable prices?
Hey, if you could get me to London in under 2 hours, I would gladly sit in a Ryanair style seat for that! 🙂
Featured image source: Boeing