Hypersonic – Airbus Dreams of Faster, Greener Space Concorde

Airbus had a few setbacks over the weekend, but it whipped up much excitement with talk of a supersonic “commercial rocket plane” ahead of the Paris Air Show, which opened on Monday. The aircraft is meant to be a greener replacement for the retired Concorde.

Airbus has a new dream, and its name is ZEHST (Zero Emission High Supersonic Transport). Design plans detail a “hypersonic” commercial jet that can carry up to 100 passengers while cruising at 4,200 kilometers per hour (2,600 miles per hour) at an altitude of 32 kilometers (20 miles). The ambitious project is meant to fill the void in air travel left when the legendary Concorde was retired from service in late 2003. But its developers have another goal in mind as well — combining three different types of propulsion systems to make it considerably more eco-friendly than its predecessor.

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