In July, Airbus engineers patented a hypersonic jet capable of flying at Mach 4.5 or 4 1/2 times the speed of sound that’s much faster than the Concorde jet. Airbus thinks the patented craft would be able to complete trips like Paris to San Francisco or Tokyo to Los Angeles in just three hours and London to New York in just one hour.
The US Patent and Trademark Office recently approved the application from Airbus for the new jet.
According to the article at Business Insider, the jet is powered by three different types of engines that work in sequential order to get the craft aloft, into cruising altitude, and then up to its cruising speed of more than 3,000 mph. To get off the ground, the craft will use two turbojets mounted under the fuselage as well as a rocket motor mounted in the rear. As the Airbus lifts off the runway, it will climb vertically like the Space Shuttle. Right before the jet reaches the speed of sound, the turbojets shut down and retract into the belly of plane — leaving only the rocket motor to guide it up to an altitude of more than 100,000 feet.