Chuck Yeager famously was the first pilot to break the sound barrier, exceeding Mach 1 and thereby hitting a supersonic speed. Today, Boeing has broken a barrier, too, with the first Hypersonic Passenger Jet Concept.
What, you may wonder, is the difference between supersonic and hypersonic? It reminds one of the oft-debated semantics of supercars vs. hypercars. The answer is that Hypersonic speeds exceed Mach 5. The ultra-fast concept debuted at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference this week, and it blew people away. Being as a normal commercial jet’s engine blades disintegrate at hypersonic speeds, Boeing hyper-plane would use an turboramjet, AKA a turborocket – a form of combined-cycle jet engine – to elevate the jet to Mach 5 speeds, while sustaining a smooth ride – no g-force rippling your jowls.