To near space and back, but this time “cargo” takes the front seat

Cargo is often transported by overnight express delivery and that’s fairly a common norm. What if you wanna move cargo super-urgently from one hemisphere to the other? And within hours?

Decades back, transporting cargo between continents in less than two hours using hyperplanes might have sounded a little too far-fetched. Well. not so anymore. At least that’s what serial entrepreneur Mikhail Korkorich, also dubbed as “like Russia’s Elon Musk” believes so.

Freight Waves

Mikhail Korkorich is the founder of the Switzerland-based startup- Destinus- which is ramping up a test and development program for its cargo-carrying hypersonic aircraft after raising US$29 million in funding.

Here’s what we know so far.

Hyperplane – the fastest delivery vehicle in the world

Space News

According to the company, the futuristic aircraft, is to combine the technological advancements of a spaceplane with the simple physics of a glider to create a vehicle that would move time-critical cargo across continents in a couple of hours or less, and the best part is- using clean liquid hydrogen fuel.

Destinus HyperXpress

Destinus’ hyper express delivery service is a whole new class of delivery that can move objects from any major metropolitan airport to another in under 2 hours.

Picture shipping goods from Memphis to Shanghai. The Destinus hyperplane could transport cargo in an hour and thirty minutes which would otherwise take close to 15 hours.

How do they do it?

The hyperplane is designed in a way that would enable it to take off from regular airport runways, fly slowly to the coast and travel to near-space heights before accelerating to  15 times the speed of sound.

Yahoo Finance

According to Korkorich, this would be accomplished using a first stage air turbo rocket engine, followed by a second stage rocket engine to blast to hypersonic speeds between Mach 13 and Mach 15 at mesospheric altitudes over 50 km.

The logic is simple. If you want to move something from one place on Earth to another place on Earth, you need to spend energy in several directions. One, you need to overcome gravity as long as you’re keeping the plane in the air. So, longer means more gravity losses. Second is against the friction of the air, and third is for your maximum velocity kinetic energy.

Mikhail Korkorich, Founder and CEO, Destinus
Mikhail Kokorich | Russia Beyond

Reportedly, the company flew “Jungfrau”, its first prototype in November of last year. The test flight lasted five minutes at an airport near Munich at subsonic speeds to evaluate its aerodynamic performance during take-off and landing. Jungfrau is now being used as a testbed for future autonomous technologies.

AutoEvolution

We are excited about the broad support of our company. We plan to use the funding to continue the development of our hydrogen airbreathing and rocket engines and test the first supersonic flights powered by hydrogen engines in the next 12-18 months.

Mikhail Kokorich

Summing up, the Hyperplane would feature:

  • Hypersonic cruise speed
  • Thousands of re-entry cycles
  • Actively cooled heat shield
  • Fully autonomous
  • 30 db quiter than supersonic planes

It is breath taking to see a future in which travel anywhere in the world in 1-2 hours will be available. Most importantly, the hyperplane under development will use liquid hydrogen to fuel its engines. That gives the great opportunity to fly fast and at the same time be carbon neutral. The only emission of such engines is water. I am excited that companies like Destinus will be able to provide European leadership in the aerospace sector

Philipp Rösler, Destinus’ chairman of the advisory board and a former minister of economics and vice- chancellor of Germany

SOURCE(s)

COVER: TechEBlog

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