High Speed Aircraft Concepts Revealed At Farnborough
Two high-speed aircraft concepts hit the headlines at Farnborough - a refined four-engined supersonic airliner design from Boom and an experimental hypersonic test vehicle for the UK Royal Air Force from Reaction Engines and Rolls-Royce.
If you thought the dream of high-speed flight was over, think again. Industry optimists are keeping the dream alive.
Colorado-based Boom unveiled the extensively redesigned Overture airliner and announced a partnership with Northrop Grumman to study special-mission military variants of the Mach 1.7-capable aircraft. Although Boom has yet to announce a firm engine selection, it still hopes to debut the 80-seat airliner by the end of the decade.
Meanwhile, high-speed propulsion developer, Reaction Engines has unveiled the Hypersonic Air Vehicle Experimental (HVX) program - an ambitious plan to test reusable Mach 5-plus vehicle technology for the RAF. Targeting an hypersonic aircraft capability similar to that recently seen in the blockbuster movie Top Gun Maverick, the program ultimately aims to flight test a combined cycle propulsion system incorporating Reaction's pre-cooler with a turbine engine at an operationally representative scale.
The concept model revealed at Farnborough is reminiscent of the D-21 drone carried by the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and represents Reaction's first step towards hypersonic flight and a potential new UK defense capability.