SOAR AT MACH 24
Concept: THE PARADOXAL
Designer: CHARLES BOMBARDIER
Odds of production: GOOD...BY THE YEAR 2067
Mechanical engineer Charles Bombardier’s hypersonic jet concept, Paradoxal, doesn’t just push the envelope; it redefines it. Bombardier and his team of designers at Imaginactive have drawn up a commercial aircraft that conceivably could travel at Mach 24 (nearly 25,750km/hr) and leave Earth’s atmosphere.
Powered by reusable rockets and ramjet engines, the futuristic flyer would follow a suborbital, parabolic path and briefly enter space, according to Bombardier. Each wing is designed to inject counterflowing compressed air over its leading edge to mitigate heat build-up during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. “I think the technology can be developed rapidly, in less than 50 years,” says Bombardier. “The true questions become whether anyone is willing to invest capital in such a programme – and do we really need to go that fast?” — VIJU MATHEW