A new hypersonic jet could blast passengers around the globe from Britain to Australia in just three hours.
The key is that the Paradoxal aircraft would actually take a short suborbital trip through space, according to Paradoxal’s designers – and passengers would briefly become weightless.
Designer Juan Garcia Mansilla says, ‘While its primary use would be super-fast travel, it could also be developed for various other users by government agencies. It can also be perceived as an aircraft that mixes space tourism with business travel,’
Air-breathing engines would blast the aircraft up to 60,000 feet then it would convert to a rocket, travelling at Mach 3.
Mansilla says, ‘The Paradoxal would thus be able to fly from Los Angeles to Sydney in less than 3 hours (7,585 miles) and make a gracious suborbital parabolic incursion into space for a fascinating view of the stars and earth from space.’
Mansilla said that the jet, which remains at the concept stage, ‘uses a Rotary Ramjet engine as the air-breathing engine and then converts to a rocket to reach a suborbital altitude
‘A line of counterflowing jets of air on the aircraft’s leading edges reduces heat and drag during the ascent and re-entry phases of the flight’.
‘The leading edge of the plane’s wings would be fitted with linear ‘Long Penetration Mode (LPM) nozzles’ so that air could flow out of them to create a ‘paradoxal’ effect whereby the plane could fly faster,’ explains the designer.
‘As the speed increased to first supersonic, then hypersonic velocities, the engines or onboard tanks of compressed air would supply air to the LPM nozzles along the leading edges of the plane.