Thanks to this incredible supersonic concept aircraft, cramped long-haul flights spending the better part of a full day on board an aircraft could be a thing of the past.
The Flash Falcon is an ambitious nuclear-powered biplane that could carry up to 250 passengers at speeds of up to Mach 3 – 2,300 miles per hour – at 60,000 feet.
Such speeds would cut a flight from London to Australia to just four hours, a transatlantic crossing to New York to just 90 minutes, or a short trip to Malaga could take less than half an hour.
Passengers have not enjoyed a supersonic commercial aircraft since the last Concorde was retired in 2003 after 27 years of service.
And ambitious Spanish designer Oscar Vinals believes the technology could make a comeback in the coming decades.
His concept of the Flash Falcon envisions how comfortable, fast and efficient the next generation of supersonic aircraft could be.
Vinals believes supersonic aircraft could take the skies again in the 2030s – and hopes technological advances will make the aircraft affordable, quiet and environmentally friendly.
While he says the design is “hypothetical” at this stage, he hopes it represents a realistic concept for the high-speed aircraft of the near future.
Oscar said, “I believe supersonic flight will return in the very near future, but with the most significant technology and advancements of the 21st century.”
Flash Falcon would be a two-decker aircraft powered by electric motors powered by an onboard portable fusion reactor, allowing it to reach Mach 3.
The two decks could carry 250 passengers – with a business class and a “super tourist” class.
The passengers on the first deck would be seated in comfortable seats with three rows of two.
And the upper deck would have a central row of two flanked by two rows of individual seats on either side.
Oscar hopes the seating will all be “armchairs,” stuffed with gadgets so passengers can enjoy a comfortable — and very fast — flight to their destination.
The world’s first and, to date, only supersonic aircraft, the Concorde was a revolutionary British and French design.
But it was ultimately wiped out by the expensive tickets, low passenger numbers, noise, and safety concerns.
In the next fifteen years, it could become a feasible reality
Since then, many designers have speculated about a return to supersonic mass transit—but no one has taken the plunge yet.
Flash Flacon is nearly twice the size of Concorde, with the iconic aircraft only capable of carrying 110 passengers.
Oscar’s concept calls for a jet that would be 335 feet long compared to Concorde’s 203 feet, but with a much larger fuselage at 25 feet compared to 10 feet.
It also has a wingspan of 151 feet compared to the historic jet’s 84 feet.
He hopes the plan would feature six jets and a supersonic engine that would boost the plane to full speed like a rocket engine.
The thruster could be powered by a miniaturized fusion reactor – a technology that is still theoretical but is being explored by some of the world’s largest engineering firms such as: Lockheed Martin.
And one of the plane’s most distinctive design features is Oscar’s hope that the plane could take off vertically like a Harrier.
The engines would swivel, allowing the massive plane to take off and land without the need for a huge runway – meaning it could land at smaller airports.
Like his design of the smaller Hyper Sting aircraft, the Flash Falcon concept features a nose cone – often known as the “silent tip” – which he hopes would reduce the noise of a sonic boom.
Sonic booms are loud explosions that occur when an object breaks the sound barrier – something that was a major source of annoyance during Concorde’s lifetime.
Laws in some countries limit supersonic flights over land because of the bang – but if a high-speed plane like the Flash Falcon were quiet, it could help open up new flight paths.
Oscar said: “This aircraft would belong to a hypothetical generation equipped with fusion energy-based technology – the future [of] green energy – which today can only be found in development.
“But within the next fifteen years, being able to generate large amounts of electrical energy without the use of ‘pollutant’ materials could become a viable reality.
“That is the main propulsion energy of this aircraft concept and is expected to become real around the 2030s.”
He dreams that one day the aircraft could fly alongside his other supersize aircraft concepts, the Sky Whale and the Magnavem Big Bird.
So far, however, no one has committed to building and testing one of Oscar’s monster machines.
He said this is because the technology is “highly innovative” – but he has received interest from aeronautical engineers and universities.
Oscar did, however, see a mockup of one of his design cues at the Transportation of the Future exhibition at the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center in Kuwait.
It comes after we unveiled the incredible concept design of the AeroCon Wingship, an extraordinary 3,000-passenger design for a massive Ekranoplan flying boat.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9533263/inside-flash-falcon-supersonic-new-york/ Inside the incredible FLASH FALCON nuclear powered biplane that could fly from London to Australia in 4 HOURS