Virgin Galactic and Rolls-Royce are joining hands to work on a supersonic commercial airplane that flies at three times the speed of sound.
The jet will reportedly be able to carry a maximum of 19 passengers, and will travel at Mach 3 speeds, making it the faster than the Mach 2 speed of the Concorde.
“We are excited to… unveil this initial design concept of a high speed aircraft, which we envision as blending safe and reliable commercial travel with an unrivalled customer experience,” said George Whitesides, chief space officer at Virgin Galactic.
Virgin Galactic said its team would “work to address key challenges in thermal management, maintenance, noise, emissions, and economics that routine high speed commercial flights would entail.”
Rolls-Royce will develop the propulsion needed for the Mach 3 jet. The two companies have reportedly signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the endeavor.
Virgin Galactic’s primary agenda still remains providing commercial space travel rides, but the company is also keen on revolutionising commercial air travel, as is clear from their proposed commercial supersonic jet.