New York to London in Less Than an Hour? British Engineers Are Hopeful

Courtesy Reaction Engines

The plan rests on the jet’s ability to travel at 25 times the speed of sound.

We’ve all been there: Getting to the airport, boarding the plane, sitting for however many hours, and slowly making your way off of the plane. Why does it take so long? If that question hasn’t crossed your mind, I applaud your patience. A group of British engineers have a new idea for those who would like to shave some travel time.

Courtesy Reaction Engines

According to the Express, a UK-based news site, a company named Reaction Engines had a breakthrough that may have us traveling between London and New York in an hour. The secret lies within a special engine coolant. The engineers came up with a “pre-cooler” for engines, that would allow air passing through the engine to cool from more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit to room temperatures in one-twentieth of a second.

This kind of technology would keep the engine from melting, as is the current blocker keeping us from getting from Point A to Point B in mind-bending speeds. The engineers at Reaction Engines are currently incorporating this technology into a test engine called “The Sabre.” The hope is that with the new coolant, the jet will be able to travel consistently at 4,200 miles per hour––the average speed of a commercial plane at the moment is closer to 550 to 575 miles per hour. Let that sink in.

Related: This Is the World's Greenest Airline, According to New Ranking

Courtesy Reaction Engines

Obviously, there’s no word on if or when this kind of engine component would be implemented on commercial flights. That being said, this is exciting for all kinds of reasons; in short, bringing us to the kind of travel habits you’d be more likely to see in Sci-Fi films.