Green Air Travel with Reaction Engines's A2
Air Travel has become increasingly popular and increasingly annoying. Long waits, tight quarters and that 1 guy that always snores. Anyway, another downfall of today's air travel is the massive amount of Carbon expelled into the atmosphere everyday. A new kind of jet designed by Reaction Engine may change all of that.
The new Jet, named the A2, uses Hydrogen Fuel instead of traditional jet fuel. It also uses a two-stage engine to ensure it is running efficiently at any speed. The combination of a more efficient 2-stage engine and Hydrogen Fuel give the A2 the ability to reach speeds of Mach-5 (3400mph). Fast enough to go from Miami to San Fransisco in about an hour when at cruising speed. All while leaving an almost unnoticeable carbon footprint.
The heart of the design is the 2 stage engine. The idea came from studying the flaws of the earlier Concorde. It was fairly fuel efficient when cruising, but when traveling a Mach-0.9 over land, efficiency decreased dramatically. The first stage is a normal Turbojet system. It compresses incoming air and then inject fuel into the air. Heat from the compression causes ignition and thrust is produced. At Mach-2.5, the A2 switches into Ramjet mode. A Ramjet essentially uses the high speed as a compressor and injects fuel without using a compressor.
The A2 takes the design a step farther by incorporating a compression system. The air is first cooled, otherwise the blades on the fan would quickly melt, then it is routed into a turbo and compressed even more, giving the jet very high speed capabilities.
The only real drawback is the lack of windows. The only windows able to withstand the extreme heat generated by speed are the ones used by NASA on space shuttles. But I think the much shorter air time will more than make up for that.
The A2 is still a concept, but there are talks of entering production. The real obstacle is finding a more efficient way to mass produce Hydrogen. Nothing can be considered truely Green until that happens. I guess you still do have to deal with that guy snoring, but not for nearly as long.