One day there could be an airplane that lets you travel from one end of the world to the other in less than the time it takes to sip your way through a cup of coffee.

The Antipode, a concept aircraft developed by Canadian designer Charles Bombardier, claims to reduce a trip from New York to London to just 20 minutes.

According to his website, the Antipode would be capable of reaching 16,000 miles per hour (mph), or in other words Mach 24 - that is 21 times the speed of sound.

Currently, the average commercial aircraft - a Boeing 717 for example - travels at just over 500 mph.

The now defunct Concord reached 1,600 miles per hour (Mach two) before being discontinued because of heat build-up along the edge of the nose, and a loud sonic boom over land.

An earlier concept created by Bombardier, called Skreemr, faced the same problems as the Concorde.

Joseph Hazeltine, an engineer with Wyle (a company that provides Nasa and the US Department of Defence with technical services), saw the potential in the Skreemr.

Wyle said he had a way to avoid these shortcomings: by incorporating a new technology called long penetration mode.

Theoretically, this "aerodynamic phenomenon" will channel some of the air through a nozzle in the nose, creating a counter-flow of air, reducing the sonic boom and cooling the surfaces of the aircraft.

Bombardier says the Antipode is in its conceptual phase, but he is hoping to get more funding for research.

He told the BBC:

I wanted to help get funding to do more research, and so I tried to push the whole thing forward. I know that it's not going to lead to the exact aircraft at the end, but it might help to develop new technologies and new processes. If it does, then that I'm happy that I did something to help society.

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