Though officials stressed at the conference that the concept is still in its early stages, the passenger plane is expected to have both commercial and military uses.
"We're excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before," Kevin Bowcutt, senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics at Boeing, said in a news release. "Boeing is building upon a foundation of six decades of work designing, developing and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles, which makes us the right company to lead the effort in bringing this technology to market in the future."
According to Aviation Week, the yet-to-be named concept, which shows a strong resemblance to the Concorde, is aimed at offering a "passenger capacity larger than long-range business jets, but smaller than Boeing's 737." The Concorde, which could seat 92 to 128 passengers, was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet built by the British-French firm Aérospatiale/BAC that flew at the speed of Mach 2.04. It was in operation until 2003.
Flying at speeds of five times the speed of sound (Mach 5) with a projected cruise altitude of 95,000 ft, Boeing's plane would be able to travel across the Atlantic in two hours and the Pacific in three hours. Currently, it takes roughly seven hours for a standard passenger jet to travel across the Atlantic, while a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo would take some 12 hours to complete, Investors.com reported.
Although Bowcutt was unable to pinpoint an exact date for when the plane would be ready to take to the skies, the official did state that it would be another 20 to 30 years before the jet would be operational.
However, the time frame could be shorter if creators are able to cook up an aircraft for the US military. If things go well, the aircraft would be used to prove a wide range of airframe, systems and propulsions technologies, the Daily Mail reported.
"You have to do these kinds of studies now to know where we have to push the technology and where we have to advance things," Bowcutt told Aviation Week. "Technologically, we could have an [operational military] hypersonic aircraft, such as an ISR [intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance], flying in 10 years. But there's a lot that goes into a commercial airplane, including the market, regulatory and environmental requirements, so it will happen when there is a convergence of those things."
Boeing's concept will be on display at the UK's Farnborough Air Show, which will run from July 16 to 22.