Boeing Unveils Concept for Hypersonic Airliner

Boeing unveiled a new concept for its first passenger-carrying hypersonic airplane at the June 25 to 29 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Atlanta. One of several hypersonic vehicle concepts spanning a wide range of potential applications under study by company engineers, the passenger vehicle could involve military or commercial applications. Engineers companywide are working to develop so-called “enabling technologies” aimed at preparing Boeing for a time markets show a readiness for hypersonic flight.

“We’re excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before,” said Kevin Bowcutt, senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics. “Boeing is building upon a foundation of six decades of work designing, developing, and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles, which makes us the right company to lead the effort in bringing this technology to market in the future.”

Although Bowcutt wouldn’t speculate on a time frame for introduction of hypersonic flight for global travel, a hypersonic passenger vehicle could fly in 20 to 30 years, he estimated. Boeing plans to display the concept next month at the Farnborough Air Show.

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