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This hypersonic hydrogen jet could fly from London to New York in 90 mins

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Flying across the world from Europe to Australia currently takes around 20 hours in a regular passenger jet.

But Swiss startup Destinus is looking to slash that time to just four hours — by taking jet travel to hypersonic speeds. 

Founded by Russian-born physicist and serial entrepreneur Mikhail Kokorich, Destinus is developing a prototype hydrogen-powered aircraft capable of travelling at Mach 5 and above. That’s five times the speed of sound: over 6000 kph. 

This would take you from Frankfurt to Sydney in just over four hours. London to New York? 90 minutes.  

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To achieve such speeds the aircraft would travel at altitudes of over 50km, right at the upper edge of the Earth’s atmosphere, where drag is significantly lower. The hypersonic aircraft would use hydrogen-fuelled air-breathing turbojet engines for takeoff and landing, with a separate ramjet rocket engine to take it to hypersonic speeds. The startup claims the jet — essentially half rocket, half plane — would be net zero carbon, only emitting heat and water vapour. 

Destinus’ first aircraft, capable of carrying 25 passengers up to 7,500km will be ready by the end of this decade, projects Kokorich. Follow-on planes will be progressively larger, seating up to 100 passengers and beyond.

Destinus has been testing its prototype aircraft for the past couple of years, announcing successful test flights of its second prototype — Eiger — at an airport near Munich last year.