Boeing planning hypersonic passenger jets that can fly at Mach 5, connect New York and Shanghai in 2 hours

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg and Boeing Commercal Airplanes President Kevin McAllister are seen at the launch of the Boeing 737 MAX 10, on the first day of the 52nd Paris Air Show. Reuters Photo
Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg and Boeing Commercal Airplanes President Kevin McAllister are seen at the launch of the Boeing 737 MAX 10, on the first day of the 52nd Paris Air Show. Reuters Photo

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has said that hypersonic jets could be used as passenger planes within the next 10 years, cutting flight times by as much as 700 percent.

A flight from New York to Shanghai currently takes 15 hours, while with a hypersonic plane it would be a journey of as little as two hours.

The jets can reach speeds of up to 3,800 miles per hour, or Mach 5.

"I think in the next decade or two you're going to see them become a reality," said Muilenburg.

Boeing would market these hypersonic jets to an elite market of travelers who could pay the price for super-fast air travel.

At the same time the Colorado-based Boom Technology firm is developing a 55-seat supersonic jet that it is currently being showcased at the Paris Air Show. The firm aims to have the jet in service around 2020.

However, others in the industry are not so optimistic. The cost of operating these hypersonic jets may be so prohibitive that companies do not find it financially attractive.

CEO John Plueger of AirLease Corp, a company that leases hundreds of airplanes to airlines around the world, said that airlines were mainly focused on the profitability of their flights.

"It's hard for me to see, at least in the next 15-20 years, that it's going to be so cost competitive that it's going to compel the airlines to take a stab at it," said Plueger, adding that the similarities to Concorde suggested that the hypersonic jets would not be sustainable.

Boeing CEO Muilenburg also admitted that the company had to prove that there was sufficient demand to make hypersonic jet travel profitable.

"Still work to do on closing the business case to make sense for our customers. But we see future innovations where you could connect around the world in about two hours," he said.

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