London: A British aerospace firm is developing an aircraft that would take passengers anywhere in the world in just four hours while flying at five times the speed of sound.
Reaction Engines is working on an engine system that will pave the way for a plane that would transport 300 passengers anywhere in the world in four hours.
Chief engineer Alan Bond said that a cooling technology allows air entering the new 'Sabre' engine system to be cooled by more than 1,000 degrees Celsius in .01 seconds.
This would allow a jet engine to run at higher power than what is possible today, 'Business Insider' reported.
The cooling system uses an array of thin pipes, arranged in a 'swirl' pattern and filled with condensed helium, to extract heat from air and cool it to minus 150 degrees Celsius before it enters the engine.
In normal circumstances, this would cause moisture in the air to freeze, coating the engine with frost, but the company has also developed a method which prevents this from happening, according to a previous report in 'The Telegraph'.
The aircraft, which comes with a USD 1.1 billion price tag, will measure 276 feet long, and will be called the Skylon.
It would take off and land horizontally (like a plane), which would make it easier to reuse than a standard rocket.
Test flights of the Skylon are planned for 2019.