Imagine If You Could Fly From NYC To London In 11 Minutes

Photo: Courtesy of AntiPode.
A flight from NYC to London that’s probably shorter than your morning commute? Sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but it could be possible someday, thanks to a new technology proposed by Canadian industrial designer Charles Bombardier. His design for a new plane, called the Antipode, would reportedly reach Mach 24 — or 24 times the speed of sound — according to an article in Forbes.

The Antipode is actually an improvement on one of Bombardier’s earlier concept designs, the Skreemr. The Skreemr is designed to travel a measly speed of Mach 10, making that NYC to London trip 27 minutes. The only problem? Traveling at 10 times the speed of sound requires some pretty tough materials to withstand the heat that is created at those speeds.

Enter the Antipode, a 10-seater business jet designed to use a different form of aerodynamics, known as long-penetration mode, to cool the nose of the plane as it flies, allowing it to withstand the high temps of mach speed.

It's an amazingly cool idea, but of course, even with the innovative design tweaks, the Antipode won’t be taking off just yet. The designs of these super-fast jets require scramjet engines, a type of propulsion that uses oxygen for energy, and currently there are no scramjet designs that would be stable enough to reach that speed. According to CNN, the closest we've come is a Pentagon design that reached speeds of Mach 5 in an unmanned flight.

One day, this may be a reality — and if that happens, it will likely change the way we travel forever. But until then, we’ll just have to dream about how cool it would be to dip out for fish and chips in the shadow of Big Ben on our lunch break.

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