Mach 3 Civilian Aircraft Design Unveiled by Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic Mach 3 airplane 4 photos
Photo: Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic Mach 3 civilian aircraftVirgin Galactic Mach 3 civilian aircraftVirgin Galactic Mach 3 civilian aircraft
Ever since the retirement of the Concorde, the world has been dreaming about the return of civilian supersonic flight. A few things, including noise regulations and the high price for tickets, are preventing such airplanes from becoming a reality though.
Steps are however being taken to change that. NASA is working on the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST), expected to reduce the sonic boom to as much as 60 dB (for reference, the Concorde was rated at 90 dB), Boom Supersonic announced earlier in July a huge milestone in the development of the Overture, and now Virgin Galactic is joining in on the fun.

The proposal made by the company with British roots is much more exciting, at least theoretically, than the others currently in development. That’s because unlike the QueSST for instance, which targets a Mach 1.4 top speed (1,100 mph/1,770 kph), Virgin set its sights on no less more than double that, Mach 3.

The first design sketches of the aircraft were released this week, together with an announcement that a paper was signed with Rolls-Royce to develop the engines that would power the aircraft. Rolls-Royce was the engine supplier for the Concorde, so they must know what they are doing.

The Virgin airplane has no name yet, but a few details about it are already known. The company targets the creation of a delta-wing aircraft capable of seating between 9 to 19 people and traveling at over 60,000 feet (18 km).

The design is of course only in its early stages. It is so fresh, in fact, that Virgin didn’t even venture into providing a possible date for a prototype unveiling. It does however plan to make of the finished design “a catalyst to adoption in the rest of the aviation community.”

You can read the full, yet limited details on the project in the press release section below.
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Press Release
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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