Can you imagine reaching any location on the planet in less than an hour? It may sound like something out of a science fiction novel but according to space.com the U.S. military hopes to have a hypersonic rocket jet with such capabilities in as little as four years. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) confirmed last Wednesday that they are working on the X-plane, a rocket plane that will be capable of flying at Mach 20 (20 times the speed of sound) or 13,000 mph!
For comparison sake, the Concorde was capable of flying at Mach 2.04 or 1,354 mph and had a range of about 4,500 miles. The average flight time between London and New York was just 3 hours and 20 minutes.
The timeline might be questionable considering that a test flight last August stayed afloat for only nine minutes after reaching Mach 20. I do think they’ll eventually figure it out in the next ten years but don’t get your hopes up on this technology transitioning to passenger service any time soon.
Writing this entry got me thinking about redeeming miles on the Concorde. Unfortunately, I had just gotten into the miles game as the Concorde was being retired from active service but wow that would have been the ultimate redemption (not that I’m not excited about my two recent Singapore First Class redemptions). Did you know you were able to redeem AA, Delta, Continental, and SPG miles and points amongst others for a trip? Considering these were considered first class seats the rates weren’t bad either, especially with the SPG Qantas trick –
BA173 LHR 0930 JFK 0829. Daily but not operated in August
AF001 CDG 1100 JFK 0845. Daily
BA171 LHR 1115 JFK 1014. Daily
BA172 JFK 1015 LHR 1900. Daily but not operated in August.
BA170 JFK 1215 LHR 2100. Daily
AF002 JFK 1300 CDG 2245. Daily