Virgin Galactic Presented A Supersonic Passenger Plane
This morning, Richard Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic unveiled a project for a proposed supersonic plane. The company claims that the final version of the vehicle can carry between nine and 19 passengers and reach Mach 3, or three times faster than the speed of sound. But it only has space for nine to 19 passengers.
Virgin Galactic's primary business is space tourism, which aims to send well-funded customers to the edge of space and back on its planes. But for years, Virgin Galactic has also stated its interest in using its space technology to develop high-speed travel from point A to point B. the Concept involves using suborbital rockets to move people from one point of the Earth to another in much less time than in a conventional plane.
Recently, Virgin Galactic has started looking at supersonic planes, instead of suborbital rockets, to send travelers wherever they want as quickly as possible. In May, the company announced it was receiving assistance from NASA to develop the company's supersonic aircraft. NASA has years of experience with supersonic vehicle technology, and the Agency is currently working on a "quiet" high-Mach jet engine called the X-59 QueSST.
Along with introducing new models of supersonic jet aircraft, Virgin Galactic is announcing another partnership, this time with Rolls-Royce, to develop the engine needed for the aircraft. Both companies have signed a non-binding Memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together.
Virgin Galactic outlined several details for this aircraft, noting that it will travel at an altitude of 18 km and that it "will help pave the way for the use of modern environmentally friendly aviation fuel." However, many questions remain about how long it will take to develop the aircraft, as well as how much it will all cost. With space available for about a dozen passengers, it seems unlikely that ticket prices will be acceptable for the middle class. For example, the cost of a Virgin Galactic ticket for its tourist space plane is $ 250,000. The company says the supersonic jet can adapt to individual cabin plans, as well as seats for business class and first-class passengers, indicating that the price can be expensive.
George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer, Virgin Galactic said, “We are excited to complete the Mission Concept Review and unveil this initial design concept of a high speed aircraft, which we envision as blending safe and reliable commercial travel with an unrivalled customer experience. We are pleased to collaborate with the innovative team at Rolls-Royce as we strive to develop sustainable, cutting-edge propulsion systems for the aircraft, and we are pleased to be working with the FAA to ensure our designs can make a practical impact from the start. We have made great progress so far, and we look forward to opening up a new frontier in high speed travel.”