Boeing is planning a warplane that could circle the world in 1 to 3 hours

Boeing surprised the aviation world by revealing designs for a hypersonic aircraft that could circle the Earth in one to three hours, at an aerospace forum in Florida last month.

If all goes to plan, it could travel at five times the speed of sound.

The multinational corporation’s ‘Son of Blackbird’ concept is thought to be called ‘Valkyrie II’ internally, according to Guy Norris from Aviation Week.

The design, which was announced at an aerospace forum in Florida last month, is only a concept for now and there have been no official announcements from Boeinng.

The aviator reportedly hopes the new aircraft will be a direct competitor of a conceptualised SR-72 aircraft, the successor to its SR-71, the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft in the world.

Boeing’s and Lockheed’s designs aren’t that different, both plan using combined-cycle engines that use a turbojet to accelerate to Mach 3 - aka three times the speed of sound - then another engine configuration to jump to Mach 5.

Doing this will allow the plane to take off, accelerate, slow down and land all on its own.

Boeing's head of hypersonic research Kevin Bowcutt explained to Aviation Week Aerospace Daily:

We asked, ‘What is the most affordable way to do a reusable hypersonic demonstrator vehicle?’ And we did our own independent research looking at this question.

Boeing will use earlier research and tests of experimental aircraft as it develops the new aircraft design, Popular Mechanics reported.

Sadly, there’s no news of when Boeing will have a model ready for the sky, so we’ll just have to get excited over the concept designs for now.