Madrid to New York in 90 minutes: These are the hypersonic passenger planes being developed by a US company

HYPERSONIC planes that can fly from Madrid to New York in just 90 minutes are being developed by an American aerospace company.  

US firm, Hermeus, is developing the record speed flight, with a capacity of 125 passengers. 

The Halcyon could be ready for commercial flights by 2030. Photo: Hermeus

It is the first time in over 20 years that a supersonic plane is being developed for passenger use. 

The last passenger plane of its kind was the famous Concorde, which took off for the final time in November 2003. 

Despite flying between London and New York in just under three hours, the hypersonic plane was slowly retired from use after an accident killed 113 people at Paris’s Charles de Gualle airport. 

Since then, hypersonic planes have been reserved for the military but now a new type of aircraft is being developed, known as ‘Quarterhorse’. 

While the Concorde could only reach speeds of 2,179km/ph, the Hermeus’ fleet will go almost three times as fast, reaching speeds of up to 6,000km/ph. 

The hypersonic planes will be powered by a turbine based cycle engine and will be able to switch between turbo and stratospheric mode mid flight. 

The Quarterhorse fleet will be composed of MK1, with which the US based company will see the first flight. 

A digital mock up of the Quarterhorse fleet. Photo: Hermeus

Meanwhile, the MK 2 will test the first hypersonic flight, followed by the MK 3, which is set to be the fastest aircraft in the world. 

The latest version of the Quarterhorse will reach 5,000km/ph, four times the speed of sound, at a height of 24,000 metres. 

In preparation for commercial flights, the aerospace company will test a number of international routes. 

Hermeus hopes to launch a 125 seat passenger plane known as ‘Halcyon’, which could cut travel time from Madrid to New York to just 90 minutes, just enough time to watch one Disney film. 

In comparison, Concorde flights between Paris and New York took around three and a half hours, less than half of the current eight and a half hour flight time. 

Launched in 2018, the company hopes to see commercial hypersonic flights as early as 2030. 

In the next few years, Hermeus also hopes to launch a smaller version of the flights, with a capacity of 20 people.


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