What goes around comes around.
The artist\’s impression looks like something out of a science fiction film. But a hypersonic passenger plane that could fly to Australia from northern Europe in less than five hours has been designed in Britain. With funding from the European Space Agency, a team of engineers and scientists has come up with the A2, a plane they believe could carry 300 passengers at a top speed of more than 3,000mph.
This looks to me like a retread of the HOTOL concept: it\’s even got the same person designing the engines, Alan Bond. The thing is though that we now know that hypersonic engines do indeed work: we\’ve even supplied bits for a US military version of one that has been tested. Whether they are economic is of couse another matter.
Have to admit I don\’t get this:
A spin-off is that liquid hydrogen is potentially much greener than conventional fuel – rather than producing vast amounts of carbon emissions it gives off water vapour and nitrous oxide.
Given that NOx has a carbon equivalenteffect 296 times greater than CO2 I\’m not sure that\’s much of an advance. But, umm, how does burning H2 in O2 from the atmosphere create NOx?
Any chemists out there?