Hello everyone! I’m back!!!!!
The Zero Emission Hyper Sonic Transport ( or ZEHST for short) is a project that was unveiled about four years ago. Timely? Yes! This will be the wave of the future! I just found out about it only recently, though… EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) were the creators of this lofty project. As of January 2014, EADS is now known as the Airbus Group. It was on June 18, 2011, that this was made public at the Air Show in Le Bourget, France.
The ZEHST is designed to travel at four times the speed of sound ( Mach 4 which is 5,000 kilometers per hour/3125 miles per hour), fly to an altitude of 32 kilometers/20 miles while having a passenger capacity of 50 to 100 people. It plans to do this by utilizing three different propulsion systems in unison. It will use conventional turbofans for the initial takeoff and to a velocity of Mach 0.8. It will then use rocket engines to accelerate to Mach 2.5. Then the two ramjets ( located under the wings) will increase the speed to Mach 4. The fuel is a combination of seaweed (biofuel) and oxygen and hydrogen. When these are burned the exhaust will be an environmentally friendly combustion that creates water as the end result .
The ZEHST is envisioned as a modern replacement for the famous Concorde that precedes it. It also looks a lot like its famous predecessor! The Concorde remains the only successful Mach 2 airliner in human history. Boeing had the aborted Boeing 2707 and Russia had the unsuccessful Tupolev Tu-144 (also known as “Concordeski”) It was a dream of the 1960s that managed to fly well into the 21st century. It had a problem with Sonic Booms that made overland flights impossible. The ZEHST will avoid this by using turbofans to take off with the same amount of noise as a conventional jetliner. The Concorde’s Rolls Royce Olympus engines has an afterburner that allowed it to accelerate like a military aircraft. It could also “Supercruise“. That is to travel above Mach 1 (supersonic) without the use of afterburners. It was an aeronautical marvel that is sorely missed by all who are aviation fanatics (yours truly included).
As wonderful and exciting as this concept is, it’s also about 40 (yes, that’s right!) years away from becoming a reality. 2050 is the expected date of service for it. A futuristic transport that’s truly in the future! I hope to hear more about this soon. Who knows? They may even surprise us with a release date that’s a lot sooner that we could imagine! I, for one, am keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed for this one! Until next time!