Beijing (China) The Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) is developing a hypersonic passenger plane that is expected to reach a speed of 7,413 km/h. Commercial flights are scheduled to start in 2035. According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the BIT has started development of this particularly fast passenger aircraft. Thanks to its significantly shorter flight times, the hypersonic aircraft should enable travel from China to the U.S.A. or Europe in about one hour. Although the concept shown is almost a third longer than a Boeing 737-700, which can accommodate well over 100 passengers, it should only accommodate ten passengers.
Similar to the Concorde supersonic passenger jet, the Chinese concept also has delta wings. Instead of the vertical stabilizer at the rear, which the Concorde had for control, the new hypersonic passenger aircraft is to be controlled via winglets on the wings. The aircraft is powered by two jet engines that are positioned on top of the fuselage.
According to the press report, the aircraft can reach a speed of Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound). With dry air and 20 degrees Celsius, this corresponds to 7,413 km/h. Any place on earth could be reached from Beijing in one hour.
At the moment no other country has a hypersonic passenger aircraft. Aside of China, the U.S.A. and Russia are currently also working on the development of corresponding models. The Chinese development team includes Liu Rui, who also played a key role in promoting the country’s Mars and Moon programs. In addition, China has the wind tunnel with the world’s highest wind speed, so it has a clear advantage in terms of development.
The country was therefore able to present a hypersonic weapon at the parade on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic in 2019, which should be able to reach the U.S.A. from mainland China in just under fifteen minutes. The knowledge gained during the development of the weapon is now being used for the civil hypersonic aircraft. The development of all key components is scheduled to be finished by 2025. The fleet of hypersonic aircraft for ten passengers is planned to start operating in 2035. Chinese hypersonic aircraft for more than 100 passengers are to follow by 2045.