Virgin Galactic has begun developing a delta-wing supersonic passenger carrier capable of carrying nineteen passengers, and has entered into an agreement with Rolls-Royce engine manufacturer for this purpose. British billionaire Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic, recently unveiled the interior of a VSS Unity aircraft intended to transport space tourists, but has already made another announcement.
According to a Monday announcement on the company’s website, a new generation of supersonic passenger carriers capable of carrying up to nineteen passengers is being developed. The concept has already been finalized and a non-binding co-operation agreement has been signed with Rolls-Royce for the implementation. The ambitious idea is that the aircraft would have a maximum cruising speed of Mach 3, three times the speed of sound, at an altitude of sixty thousand feet (18,300 meters). The interior of the delta-type could be completely tailored to the needs of the customers. In addition to the challenges facing the project, such as designing a structure that can withstand the high heat generated due to high speeds or reducing fuel consumption to a reasonable level, the outlined regulatory standards must also be met.
The former has once been overcome by Virgin Galactic in the design of the VSS Unity rocket-powered vehicle, some of the solutions can be transferred to the aircraft now outlined, but more specific improvements are needed for long-lasting and reliable operation. The development of a special engine, for example, cannot be solved by the company on its own. With the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Rolls-Royce, which already has experience with, among other things, the Concorde engine, has already been involved in the project. Tom Bell, president and CEO of the British division of the British company, stressed in connection with the announcement: based on this, they are ready to enter the development of a completely new resource with the necessary resources. The goal is to create a completely new engine that can also run on sustainable fuels. In principle, this can make the flight not only “greener”, but also cheaper, which is not a negligible aspect in the eyes of any potential customer when traveling at the speed of energy-intensive sounds.