Even though the private jet industry is light-years ahead of commercial airliners in customer service, client relations, amenities and convenience, it’s always inspiring for us to look into the future to see what may lie ahead for not only luxury aviation but for the entire industry as well. In the private jet charter club, we aim to fly high above the competition when it comes to scheduling convenient, safe and luxurious travel with the fastest planes possible. To say the least, we are eager to see some of the advancements and progress soon to be achieved in aviation technology so we can continue to provide jets and service at the apex of the industry. And due to the fact that we cater to fewer passengers per flight, the charter community has the privilege of experiencing and perhaps optimizing new technology for the benefit of future travelers. Let’s take a look at what’s on the horizon for your travel.
The Skreemr Concept Jet
Don’t be disquieted by the name but a new concept jet from the visionary Charles Bombardier (engineer, industrial designer, and inventor) referred to as the Skreemr is an impressive advancement that is allegedly capable of velocities far exceeding the speed of sound, clocking in at a remarkable Mach 10 if and when the design comes to fruition. Boasting of a scramjet which burns oxygen from the atmosphere almost entirely bereft of moving parts, the Skreemr isn’t feasible at the moment for private or commercial aviation without the necessary implementation of requisite technology still decades away. With myriad considerations like noise, the intense heat that Mach speeds generate and more complex issues, there remain many challenges and quandaries still to be answered. Always focusing on the solution, Bombardier has, at the least, a veritable notion for dealing with the noise. Bombardier plans to implement dual systems comprised of an electronic launch system designed to catapult the jet high enough into the atmosphere that a sonic boom wouldn’t create any disruption on the ground once sonic speed is desired. Once the appropriate altitude has been achieved a second system ignites fuel rockets to reach Mach speeds and pilots will have the option of toggling these systems at will.
For those of us still forlorn over the conclusion of the Concorde era, this would be an appropriate, if not exciting, option despite the unfortunate fact it won’t be an option for some years. Still, it’s enticing for any frequent flyer to hear he or she could travel from New York to London in less time than it takes to watch a Christopher Nolan film – hopefully the in-flight film options accommodate this kind of efficiency. And, while the technology to achieve this type of speed is possible (currently confined to military application) the question is when and whether or not it can be affordable enough to make it a viable business option in the private sectors. Can supersonic aviation of today or tomorrow succeed where the Concorde failed to sustain itself? Not to be worried, there are hundreds of patents listed every year with that goal.
The Aerion Approach
Due to improvements in aerodynamics, fuel efficiency and advancements that have been achieved in the manufacturing of more durable and lighter materials, some industry leaders are confident the charter jet business could make a supersonic plane a prosperous endeavor. Though perhaps not a jet as aggressive as the Skreemr there are still promising options. An aviation marketing executive, Jeff Miller, at Aerion corporation (a company operating out of Nevada that is currently pioneering some of the greatest achievements specifically for business jetliners including supersonic laminar flow wing technology) believes smaller, more efficient supersonic jets have a good chance of succeeding where the behemoth Concorde failed to do so. In development today is a $110 million 12-passenger jet which will predominantly be used for business travel that can travel at speeds up to 2000 kilometers and hour or just over Mach 1. That’s approximately 2.5 hours from New York to London. Exciting? Absolutely, but don’t get too excited. For those not in the know, that pace is actually slower than the Concorde, a concept from the end of the Cold War era. And, of course, don’t hold your breath as current anticipated receipt dates for a tested, approved jet are still 7 years away in 2022.
For the Present
Given the technological and financial restrictions of regular supersonic travel, the private jet industry remains victorious over commercial airlines for those seeking efficient and convenient travel. Fortunately, the charter business can continue to provide that comfort while simultaneously pioneering the impressive technologies of the very near future. Wherever we might fly today we’re still dreaming of tomorrow.