Virgin Galactic reveals plans for supersonic aircraft

Virgin Galactic announced that they would be collaborating with Rolls-Royce in designing and building Mach 3, a supersonic commercial aircraft.

The aircraft is set to be an innovative delta-wing with a capacity to carry between nine to 19 people and at an altitude of 60,000 feet and above. Virgin Galactic’s statement reads that the design aims to utilize “state-of-the-art sustainable aviation fuel.”

To meet their goals, the British spaceflight company has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rolls-Royce, an engine juggernaut that has also delivered engines for the supersonic aircraft Concorde.

Working together with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Virgin Galactic hopes to ensure that their project “can make a practical impact from the start.”

As of now, the Mach 3 is in the initial stages of design and is entering the next phase of defining specific system architectures, configurations and the required materials to build such an aircraft.

“The team will also work to address key challenges in thermal management, maintenance, noise, emissions, and economics that routine high-speed commercial flights would entail,” highlights the company’s statement.

There are no estimated dates or even speculative timeframes as to when the project might launch. According to Virgin Galactic’s press release, their design philosophy aims to kick-start the transformation of global travel technologies.


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