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Last Updated : Jan 21, 2019 06:34 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

In the pipeline: Boeing's hypersonic plane could take you to New York in 2 hours

"In about two decades, we are expected to use technology which will have ramjets and fliers can reach New York in about 2 hours from New Delhi," Dinesh Keskar, senior Vice- President, Asia Pacific and India, Boeing, told Moneycontrol.

Nikita Vashisht @nikita_vashisht

If you love New York City and are a frequent traveller to the US city, your flight duration from New Delhi can come down to two hours in the near future.

Boeing and NASA have partnered to develop the supersonic and hypersonic planes, Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice- President, Asia Pacific and India, Boeing, told Moneycontrol.

"In about two decades, we are expected to use technology which will have ramjets and fliers can reach New York in about 2 hours from New Delhi," he said.

He said that Boeing is working on the research and development for the required technology and is studying the engine propulsion requirements.

"All the airplanes, at present, are subsonic. This means they fly below the speed of sound. There are some supersonic airplanes, which are mostly fighter planes… The biggest challenge (in building super/hypersonic planes) is the engine propulsion right now, where the R&D is going on," he said.

Boeing had first unveiled its plan to develop hypersonic planes at the Aviation and Aeronautics Forum 2018 where it said that the company was working on "designing, developing and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles".

While the use of such planes at mass scale will take about two decades, Boeing feels the prototype could be used in about five to 10 years.

Boeing hypersonic planeSource: Boeing

According to the company's plans, their hypersonic plane can travel at a speed of Mach 5 or 6,125 km/hour which would help it to cross the Atlantic Ocean in two and Pacific Ocean in three hours.

Elaborating further on the plans, Keskar said that the idea is to make such planes affordable for travelers.

"You can build engines today but still the flying cost will be so costly, say $1,00,000. How many people will pay that? So, the technology needs to advance," he said.

Keskar said that the company was using data analytics to study the engine propulsions. The aircraft, which would fly at an altitude of 95,000 feet, would carry 20 to 100 passengers.

Apart from Boeing, Boom Supersonic, Aerion Supersonic and Spike Aerospace are planning supersonic planes with speed in the range of Mach 1.6 to 2.2. All of these envision to fly their first flight in 2023.

When asked what kind of technologies can be expected in the aviation sector, in the near future, Keskar placed his bets on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

"We have robotics, AI and machine learning. Manufacturing (of aircrafts), these days, is done by robots. There is only one person who keeps a check on these robots but the major work is done by them," he said.

The senior VP also said that while 3-D printing technology is being used at smaller scale right now, it was about time that aircrafts would soon be built at large scale using the technology.

"Aircraft manufacturing is seeing 3-D printing technology. Of course, you can’t build an entire aircraft using the same right now, so only few parts are being built by that at commercial scale. But, it might happen that complete aircraft is being built with 3-D in the future," he said.
First Published on Jan 21, 2019 01:55 pm
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