Virgin Galactic has had its eyes set on commercial space travel for quite some time now, but many may not know that the company also has big plans for high-speed air travel down here on Earth. To achieve those plans, Virgin will need a new type of aircraft, which is exactly what they recently unveiled.
Virgin officially unveiled its concept designs for its high-speed plane, the Mach 3, along with making the announcement that it will be working closely with Rolls-Royce to make the Mach 3 a reality.
“The design philosophy of the aircraft is geared around making high speed travel practical, sustainable, safe, and reliable, while making customer experience a top priority,” Virgin Galactic wrote in a press release.
The aircraft features a delta-wing design and will carry 9 to 19 passengers at any given time. Those lucky enough to grab a seat aboard the Mach 3 will be greeted by custom cabin layouts, similar to the seating arrangements on a business or first-class flight. All whilst flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet.
Rolls-Royce will add its expertise to the project by providing the Mach 3 with the much-needed engine power, although Virgin Galactic and Rolls-Royce have yet to state what exact engine they will be using.
“Rolls-Royce brings a unique history in high speed propulsion, going back to the Concorde, and offers world-class technical capabilities to develop and field the advanced propulsion systems needed to power commercially available high-Mach travel.” said Rolls-Royce North America Chairman & CEO, Tom Bell.
While the Mach 3 is still only in its concept phase, it does give us a clear vision of that the future of high-speed air travel could look like.
Image credit: Virgin Galactic