When time is of the essence, the idea of traveling to a future vacation spot aboard Venus Aerospace’s hypersonic aircraft can be appealing.
The Houston, Texas-based company this week shared renderings of a hypersonic passenger plane called the Stargazer to be built for commercial purposes. You can check out the design in the video below:
The aircraft will carry 12 passengers at speeds of up to Mach 9, which is just under 7,000 miles per hour. To give some context, the company teases the idea of flying from Los Angeles to Tokyo in 60 minutes, when at that kind of speed you could pretty much fly anywhere in that time.
While Venus Aerospace describes the Stargazer as a “space plane,” its maximum altitude will be 170,000 feet (roughly 52 kilometers), well below the Kármán Line, the point 328,000 feet (100 kilometers) above Earth that is commonly considered the point where space begins.
It’s not clear when Venus Aerospace hopes to have a full-size prototype ready, or actually envisions when the aircraft might be ready for commercial use. It says it’s also hoping to build a hypersonic drone, though no renders of that particular vehicle have been released yet. Digital Trends has reached out to the company for more information, and we’ll update this article when we receive feedback.
Since its inception in 2020, Venus Aerospace has received $32 million in private funding and an additional $1 million from the government to meet the goal of fully developing its high-speed aircraft.
The Venus Aerospace team is made up of aerospace, military and research and development veterans currently focused on three main areas, namely a next-generation zero-emission rocket engine; an innovative aircraft shape; and a state-of-the-art cooling system that will allow the Stargazer to take off from existing spaceports without the need for new infrastructure.
The company said it had “grown rapidly” over the past year, adding that it “designed and built its engineering demonstration engine, conducted key experiments at hypersonic wind tunnels and propulsion test facilities across the United States, and began a ground testing campaign at Spaceport Houston.”
Another company targeting high-speed aircraft is Colorado-based Boom. The company continues to develop the Overture, a supersonic aircraft that can carry up to 75 passengers and fly at Mach 1.7, about twice as fast as today’s fastest commercial jets. While United Airlines still has a lot of design work and testing ahead of it, it’s so interested in Boom’s plan that it has agreed in principle to buy up to 50 planes to put them into commercial service in 2029.
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