Love traveling but hate the process? Get ready to scream for joy for the Skreemr, yet another plan for a hypersonic plane with a very impressive promise to live up to: getting you from New York to London in half an hour. With a target top speed of Mach 10 (which is 10 times the speed of sound, or right around 8,000 miles per hour), this latest concept would barely give you the time to enjoy a glass of wine on the plane before getting you across the Atlantic, which is probably the perfect amount of time to be spending on any aircraft anyway. And while this is by no means the first hypersonic concept ever presented, it’s certainly the most ambitious.
In a column for the Globe and Mail, Charles Bombardier, the mastermind behind the jet, notes, “The Skreemr is an aircraft concept that would be launched at very high speed with the help of a magnetic railgun launching system.” That’s right — a magnetic railgun launching system. Making use of rockets to “ignite its main scramjet engine,” the proposed airplane sounds more like science fiction than safe passageway, but hey, that’s the 21st century for you, right?
“I am aware that the challenge of defining such an aircraft is complex, especially at lower altitude where the air is dense and heat accumulates rapidly on all surfaces,” Bombardier, a well-known visionary inventor, noted in his newspaper column. But challenges have never stopped him before.
“The Skreemr would be used as a commercial aircraft to fly from one continent to the next,” he continued. “It would fly five times faster than the Concorde and it could carry around 75 passengers. The magnetic railgun could use clean electricity to launch the aircraft, and the rockets and scramjets could burn hydrogen manufactured with hydro-electricity.” Quick and eco-friendly? What more could we want?
While the aircraft be too advanced to come to fruition during our lifetimes, Bombardier has certainly planted the seed for future innovation. After all, if commercial space travel is already on the table, why not intercontinental travel at lightning speeds?