Proposed Hypersonic Plane From Airbus: Paris To Tokyo In 3 Hours (Instead Of 12)

"FIG. 15 represents a perspective view of an ultra-rapid air vehicle according to the invention"(

‘FIG. 15 represents a perspective view of an ultra-rapid air vehicle according to the invention’ (

Because we can not yet bend time and space to our will, time is valuable. Which is why travelers might like to save that important resource and spend much less time on the plane than they do now. Airbus may make that a reality with its idea for a hypersonic plane.

Airbus recently won approval for a patent of a hydrogen-powered hypersonic aircraft that could make the trip between Paris and Tokyo in a mere three hours, compared to the 12 it does now. London to New York? One hour, not seven or eight.

The “Ultra-Rapid Air Vehicle and Related Method For Aerial Locomotion” would use a system of motors and turbojets to take off almost vertically from a regular runway using normal jets. It would then basically hop around above the atmosphere using ramjet engines, a type of engine currently used in missiles.

The system would take the plane as high as almost 19 miles at cruise speeds of Mach 4.5, or 4.5 times the speed of sound.

And in a nod to the Concorde, the supersonic jet that was taken out of service in 2003 due to high operating costs, this ultra-rapid air vehicle would feature a “gothic delta wing… fitted with moving fins… at both outer ends of the trailing edge of the delta wing.”

Don’t get your hopes up just yet, however: Airbus says the hypersonic plane isn’t going to be a reality anytime soon.

“Airbus Group and its divisions apply for hundreds of patents every year in order to protect intellectual property,” a spokesman told Reuters. “These patents are often based on R&D concepts and ideas in a very nascent stage of conceptualization, and not every patent progresses to becoming a fully realized technology or product.”

Paris-Tokyo in 3 hours: Airbus wins patent for hypersonic plane [Reuters]