A trip from London to New York could take just one hour if Airbus has its way.
The aerospace manufacturer is designing a hypersonic jet that it hopes will take people between the two major cities faster than most daily commutes.
The US Patent and Trademark Office recently approved an application from Airbus for the new jet, which it says will travel at 4.5 times the speed of sound.
Business Insider points out that this is a major improvement on the 3.5 hours it took for the now Mach 2 Concorde to make the same trip.
The jet is described as ‘an air vehicle including a fuselage, a gothic delta wing distributed on either side of the fuselage, and a system of motors able to propel the air vehicle.’
The patent describes how three different types of engine, powered by different forms of hydrogen, would work together to propel the vehicle at speeds of 3,425mph (5,500km/h).
Two turbo jets would allow the aircraft to climb vertically at take-off, before retracting into the fuselage just before it reaches the speed of sound.
A rocket motor would take it to an altitude of 100,000ft (30,000 metres). The wing-mounted ramjets would then take control to push the jet to its final speed.
Airbus says it has designed the craft’s aerodynamics to limit sonic boom, which was a major problem for Concorde when it flew over land.
Passengers on the aircraft will be limited to 20.
‘In the case of civil applications, the market envisaged is principally that of business travel and VIP passengers, who require transcontinental return journeys within one day,’ the patent states.
Airbus thinks the jet would be able to complete trips such as Tokyo to Los Angeles in just three hours.
The aircraft manufacturer says the hypersonic jet could also be for military applications, working to transport soldiers at rapid speeds.
But Airbus isn’t the only one vying to create hypersonic aircraft technology.
Last month, Air Force bosses revealed they hope to have a hypersonic plane capable of crossing countries in minutes by 2023.
Several tests of hypersonic projectiles have already been carried out.
Air Force Chief Scientist Mica Endsley told Military.com that the Air Force and Darpa, the Pentagon’s research entity, plan to have a new and improved hypersonic air vehicle by 2023.
Experimental unmanned aircraft developed for the U.S. Air Force have already gone hypersonic during tests off the Southern California coast, flying at more than five times the speed of sound.
The Air Force said a craft known as the X-51A WaveRider flew for more than three minutes under power from its exotic scramjet engine and hit a speed of Mach 5.1 last year.
The new air vehicle could be used to transport sensors, equipment or weaponry in the future, depending upon how the technology develops.
Previously bosses had only said they hoped that missile systems would be available for testing in 2020.