The world's about to get a lot smaller.
At least, it is if Canadian industrial designer Charles Bombardier gets any of his concepts off the ground.
Designer of the Skreemr concept plane (a 75-passenger jet that reaches Mach 10 after launching from a magnetic rail gun), his latest idea is even quicker: the hypersonic Antipode, capable of carrying 10 people at Mach 24. That's 12 times faster than Concord.
Speaking to Forbes, Bombardier explained that the idea arose from attempting to overcome the issues of his Skreemr design - namely, that no materials have been created that could withstand the acceleration proposed for the Skreemr. A much smaller design, the Antipode uses a novel aerodynamic phenomenon called 'long penetration mode' to prevent its wings from buckling under the stress of acceleration.
"I wanted to create an aircraft concept capable of reaching its antipode - or diametrical opposite - as fast as possible," said Bombardier.
The Antipode would be able to take off from any airport in the world, using rocket boosters attached to its wings. After reaching an altitude of 40,000 feet, the boosters would detach (returning to the airport... somehow) and the Antipode's scramjet engine to kick in, propelling the craft to Mach 24.
At that speed, the craft could travel from New York to London in 11 minutes, New York to Dubai in 22 minutes or New York to Sydney in 32 minutes.
There are some minor 'bumps' to overcome first though: not even NASA has managed to build a 'stable' scramjet engine yet, and there's the significant issue of overcoming the paralysing g-forces that the passengers and crew would experience during the flight.
With no dates in mind for building a working model of the Antipode, it's unclear when its sonic boom will be heard thundering through the clouds. Safe to say, we won't be volunteering for the first test flight...