By Rob Morris
British aircraft maker says plane will carry passengers across world in record time.
A British aircraft manufacturer has claimed to have developed a passenger plane that could fly from the Middle East to the West coast of the US in under four hours.
Reaction Engines said its A2 hypersonic aircraft would travel at Mach 5, almost 6,400 kilometres per hour (kph), and twice the speed of a concorde.
The company's management said the plane, which has a development name of Lapcat (Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies), could be operational within 25 years.
It measures 143 metres long, roughly twice the size of today's biggest jumbo jets, and runs on liquid hydrogen Scimitar engines.
It will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and will be commercially viable if tickets are sold at the equivalent of business class prices, Reaction Engines said.
Similar technology was used by the US to develop the ‘bumper rocket', which was assembled from a captured German V-2 rocket in 1949.
The A2's creation was financed by the European Space Agency (ESA), which encourages companies to continually develop air travel by using aerospace technology.