Wednesday, 22 June 2011


If EADS "biofuel"  hydrogen  hypersonic airliner doesn't impress, then how about hopping across the Channel for HyperMach's SonicStar .  What it lacks in "green" cred it makes up for with engines featuring superconducting ring generators.  Oddly enough, but quite logical when you think about it, generating bucket-loads of electricity actually makes it more efficient.  Or so the boffins claims.

Also, it has a bit of a Fireflash air about it, so I'm giving it extra points.

1 comment:

eon said...

It looks a lot like the old Gulfstream/Sukhoi Mach 2 bizjet proposal of the Nineties, albeit with some improvements on the propulsion side.

As for the EM generators driving a skin-field based drag reduction system, I think they're talking about selective heating of the outer skin as a BLC technique. This was actually originally proposed in the Sixties for SSNs, as a way to get the effect of the flexible skin of dolphins as a drag-reduction measure to allow higher submerged speeds with reduced scrub noise.

The power demands finally defeated the idea, as did the reality of SSN tactics; a combination of anechoic coatings, internal noise-reduction engineering ("rafted" turbine plants, etc.), and tactics like "sprint-and-drift" rendered it irrelevant.

I'm not sure a system originally proposed for use underwater, at multiple atmospheres' worth of pressure, would work all that well in the rarified pressures of the stratosphere/stratopause zone. More likely it would be a power sink the pilots would sensibly just turn off.