The Paradoxal hypersonic jet concept can complete the 12 063-kilometre (or 15-and-a-half-hour) journey from Los Angeles to Sydney in less than 3 hours.
Juan Garcia Mansilla, an industrial designer from Argentina, designed Paradoxal as a fast and economic solution to space tourism and business travel. Conceptually, the aircraft would be capable of flying on a suborbital parabolic trajectory. This allows it to travel between continents within a few hours.
“Although its main purpose is fast intercontinental passenger service, the Paradoxal could also be developed and used by other government agencies,” says Mansilla. “The majority of the trip is exo-atmosphere on a ballistic trajectory. So it can be perceived as an aircraft that mixes space tourism with business travel.”
What makes the Paradoxal hypersonic jet unique is its ability to take off from any airfield, coupled with its two Rim-Rotor Rotary Ramjet Engines (R4E). The R4E propulsion system is designed created to improve power density. It has a less complicated design than traditional turbines. This is achieved by combining the compressor, combustor and the turbine within a single rotating unit.
Another of Paradoxal’s noteworthy design features is the use of long penetration mode (LPM) nozzles. The nozzles are fitted to the leading edges of the wings. These nozzles release air to create an effect that allows the aircraft to travel faster. LPM was developed to support its objectives and missions in conjunction with NASA’s Scientific and Technical Information Programme.
Mansilla says that Paradoxal would give passengers a spectacular view of Earth. “For the cruise part of the trajectory, the passenger plane would fly well above the stratosphere… At the very edge of black space.”