HyperMach’s planned 20-seat supersonic business jet (SSBJ)–SonicStar–will be able to fly at speeds up to Mach 4.0, the company said on Friday. This is faster than the Mach 3.6 top speed announced when the V-tailed aircraft was first revealed at June’s Paris airshow. At Mach 4.0, the SonicStar would be able to fly from New York to Dubai in only 2 hours 20 minutes.
According to Richard Lugg, CEO of UK-based Hypermach Aerospace, recent analysis of data by partner Eagle Harbor Technologies showed that the higher speed can be achieved while still meeting requirements for a high thrust-to-weight ratio engine, reduced emissions and no (or minimal) sonic boom. The boom is eliminated using an electromagnetically induced plasma wave that “absorbs” pressure waves. “Eagle Harbor integrated [its] plasma and aerodynamic codes into the HyperMach SonicStar aerodynamic model and generated an initial simulation showing that it is possible to manage the shock wave at the bow of the aircraft,” said Lugg.
The key enabling technology of the SonicStar is the engine, which is being developed by Portland, Maine-based SonicBlue (of which Lugg is chairman). Due to the increased speeds, the original S-MAGJET (“S” for supersonic) five-stage electric-turbine hybrid supersonic 4000-X series engine is being developed into a hypersonic derivative called H-MAGJET (“H” for hypersonic). Like the S-MAGJET, the company claims the H-MAGJET will have a specific fuel consumption of 1.05 pounds of fuel/per pounds of thrust/per hour. Another enabling technology is the magnetic spike on the nose that creates the aforementioned plasma waves that would dampen the sonic boom.
SonicStar is scheduled to fly in 2021, with certification possible, but not promised, by 2025. HyperMach has not previously given give a firm price for the SSBJ, but Lugg told AIN here in Dubai that the SonicStar would cost $180 million at current values. The company continues to seek more investors and partners for the now-hypersonic jet program.