Venus Aerospace, a company co-founded by Andrew and Sassie Duggleby, aims to develop a hypersonic aircraft that can fly at Mach 9 or over 11,000 kilometers an hour. They intend to build an aircraft that can carry up to a dozen passengers, travel around the world in an hour, and maintain an airport-like cadence of four flights per day. This proposed aircraft’s design will feature a 10-minute rocket engine boost that sends the vehicle to an altitude of approximately 50 km, close to halfway to space. The engine is based on the “rotating detonation” technology that produces shock waves that travel outward at supersonic speed, increasing fuel efficiency by 10 percent in lab tests.
While Venus Aerospace has a long way to go in terms of developing hypersonic aircraft, the company has already taken the right steps toward its goal. One of the significant obstacles to flying at Mach 9 is the loss of communication with the ground as plasma envelops the vehicle at high altitudes. The company has recently achieved liquid peroxide and Jet-A detonation, a crucial step in using a stable fuel composition.
Venus Aerospace has also started testing drones to refine the aircraft’s shape and design, with a 5-foot-long drone demonstrating a fully autonomous flight in California. The company aims to test an 8-foot drone capable of supersonic speeds before the end of this year, hitting Mach 3 by early 2024 with the rotating detonation engine.
While the Venus Aerospace hypersonic aircraft’s development is a significant technological leap in the aviation industry, it raises important questions regarding safety, environmental impact, and regulatory compliance. The company must demonstrate that the aircraft’s design is safe for both passengers and the environment, and its operations comply with international and local regulations.
In conclusion, Venus Aerospace‘s hypersonic aircraft development is a fascinating technological feat with significant potential to change air travel significantly. However, as with any disruptive innovation, it is crucial to balance technological advancement with safety, sustainability, and regulatory compliance. Click here for more details.