A plane 10x faster than Concorde?

A plane 10x faster than Concorde?
An employee works on a new regional transport train at the Bombardier plant in Crespin, near Valenciennes, northern France, October 17, 2016.
PHOTO: Reuters

Shrinking a flight from London to New Zealand to little under 30 minutes might bend the laws of physics. Jack Stewart investigates an ultra-fast airliner concept.

In geography, an antipode of a place on Earth is the point on the far side of the planet, that can be connected to it with a straight line running through the centre.

That's a complicated way of saying that it is as far away as possible.

In the UK, it is often used to refer to Australia or New Zealand, and those destinations are the longest long-haul flights you can take.

Flight time with conventional planes from London to Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, is around 24 hours, with one stop.

Now imagine an aircraft that could do the trip in less than half-an-hour.

It could revolutionise air travel, but does it have to break the laws of physics, or at least aerodynamics, to do so?

One inventor doesn't think so, and he has named his concept supersonic aircraft the Antipode.

"The idea of going from New York to London in, say 20 minutes - that's what I think really grabbed people," says Canadian designer Charles Bombardier, when we asked him about the many reactions to his concept.

"It's always something that people would like - a transportation system that could take you from one place on the planet to the other side."

Bombardier is known for his big ideas, and bold concepts. According to his website, the Antipode would be a supersonic business jet that could reach speeds of around 16,000mph (25,600km/h), or Mach 24.

For comparison, Concorde reached speeds of a little over Mach 2 (around 1,600mph or 2,560km/h). Apparently it would be capable of taking off from any regular airfield using rocket boosters.

These would provide the initial thrust to get the plane to 40,000ft (12 kilometres) and a speed of Mach 5.

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