Virgin Galactic Wants to Build a Supersonic Jetliner That’ll go Even Faster Than the Concorde

Virgin Galactic, the space tourism arm of Richard Branson’s multinational commercial empire (aka. the Virgin Group) has some bold plans for the future. In the past year, the company carried out two glide tests with their LauncherOne vehicle, completed two successful flight tests with their SpaceShipTwo vehicle, and unveiled the Gateway to Space – their space tourism hub at Spaceport America.

And last week (Monday, August 3rd), the company announced that it had entered into a partnership with engine-maker Rolls-Royce to build a supersonic commercial aircraft that would travel three times the speed of sound (Mach 3). If realized, the proposed aerospace vehicle will carry 19 passengers to altitudes of more than 18,000 meters (60,000 ft) while travelling at speeds 50% faster than the Concorde.

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