Chinese aerospace company Space Transportation said it’s developing a new hypersonic business jet that could fly anywhere between two points on Earth, and by 2030 would be able to reach speeds of 10,000 km/h (about 6,200 mph).
On its website, the Chinese aerospace company displays graphics and concept art for an aircraft capable of reaching 6,200 mph, which would allow it to cover nearly the entire 6,828-mile distance between the Chinese capital city of Beijing and New York City in just over an hour.
The proposed aircraft would be used for both space tourism and point-to-point travel.
“We are developing a winged rocket for high-speed, point-to-point transportation, which is lower in cost than rockets that carry satellites and faster than traditional aircraft,” the company said in a statement shared on the government website for Beijing’s economic and technological development sector.
Space Transportation, which is also known in China as Beijing Lingkong Tianxing Technology Co., Ltd. describes rocket tests it has already completed since 2019, along with a small technical verification aircraft for the high-speed business jet it’s developing. The company hopes to launch the technical verification aircraft by 2023. Between 2023 and 2025, the company will move forward with a medium-sized suborbital space tourism aircraft and then between 2025 and 2030 aims to develop and launch its full-sized global hypersonic vehicle.
The company has conducted multiple rocket tests since 2019 and in August announced it had completed its first funding round with 300 million Yuan raised (about $47.1 million). In September, the company announced it had raised an additional 100 million Yuan, bringing ($15.7 million), for a total of about $62.8 million raised.
The company said it will conduct ground tests for its small technical verification aircraft by 2023 and then a manned flight test by 2024.
Space Transportation is the only Chinese commercial aerospace enterprise pursuing hypersonic flight technology and its applications.
According to Space.com, publicly available details about the company’s test flights remain limited. These limits might be due to the sensitive nature of hypersonic technology, which countries around the world have been studying not only for commercial applications but for improved missiles and military vehicles.
Over the summer, China tested a hypersonic missile or vehicle. The summer reached wider public attention in October, days before a U.S. military hypersonic test failed. In an October interview, Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley called the Chinese hypersonic weapon test “very concerning.”
“The Chinese military capabilities are much greater than that,” Milley said. “They’re expanding rapidly in space, in cyber and then in the traditional domains of land, sea and air. And they have gone from a peasant-based infantry army that was very, very large in 1979 to a very capable military that covers all of the domains and has global ambitions.”