Airbus patents mach 4.5 passenger jet

Airbus has filed a patent for a mach 4 passenger jet.

The invention concerns an ultra-rapid air vehicle together with a method of aerial locomotion by means of an ultra-rapid air vehicle, where the air vehicle is propelled by a system of motors formed of turbojets (TB1, TB2), ramjets (ST1, ST2) and a rocket motor which can be made streamlined to reduce the drag of the base during the cruise phase, and where the vehicle has a gothic delta wing (A) fitted with moving fins (a1, a2) at both outer ends of the trailing edge of the delta wing.

The invention relates to an air vehicle including a fuselage, a gothic delta wing positioned either side of the fuselage, and a system of motors able to propel the air vehicle. The air vehicle is characterised in that:

* The fuselage contains a tank of hydrogen which is liquid or in the state of melted snow (slush), and one or more liquid oxygen tanks;

* The gothic delta wing has a flat upper surface and a flat lower surface, and the wing root starts roughly in the area where the forward part of the fuselage broadens;

* A fin is attached to each outer end of the trailing edge of the delta wing using a cylindrical part the axis of which is parallel to the axis of the fuselage, where each fin consists of two roughly identical trapezoid-shaped elements attached to the cylindrical part and located in the same plane, either side of the cylindrical part, where each cylindrical part is able to rotate around its axis such that both trapezoid-shaped elements which are attached to the cylindrical part are positioned either in a plane parallel to the plane of the gothic delta wing, or in a plane perpendicular to the gothic delta wing; and

* The system of motors includes at least one turbojet able to be retracted into the fuselage, and positioned in a forward portion of the fuselage, at least one fixed-geometry ramjet, and one rocket motor positioned in a rear part of the fuselage, where a door located in the rear part of the fuselage is able to be opened or closed, respectively to expose the rocket motor to the exterior, or to isolate the rocket motor from the exterior.

According to yet another additional characteristic of the invention, the cruising flight is characterised by:

* An altitude of the aircraft relative to the ground of roughly between 30000 m and 35000 m;
* A dissipation distance of the shockwave of the vehicle’s nose of roughly between 110 km and 175 km;
* A speed of the aircraft of roughly between Mach 4 and Mach 4.5; and
* An aperture angle α of the Mach cone of roughly between 11° and 15°.

The ultra-rapid air vehicle proposed by the invention has a speed twice that of CONCORDE, i.e. Mach 4+, and a cruising altitude at least 20 km higher than that of a conventional commercial aircraft.

The height at which the new aircraft would fly and the “narrow” angle of the supersonic shock wave coming off its nose – estimated at between 11 and 15 degrees – would help reduce it because it has a longer distance to dissipate before it reaches the ground.

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SOURCES – US Patents, Youtube