August 17, 2002


Air-breathing jet flies at 5,000mph (Roger Highfield, 17/08/2002, Daily Telegraph)

Aviation has entered the era of the hypersonic jet after an air-breathing engine exceeded 5,000mph.

The "hypersonic ignition" by the scramjet is one of the most important milestones in aviation since the sound barrier was broken in 1947. The technology could slash the cost of launching satellites, which rely on huge supplies of oxygen on board.

It also raises the possibility that, one day, passenger aircraft could fly from London to Sydney in a few hours.

The first detailed analysis of data from the launch last month in Australia shows that the scramjet, which has no moving parts, had reached 7.6 times the speed of sound (Mach 7.6). Hypersonic travel starts at Mach 5.

Yeah, but did the pilot have any busted ribs?

*NASA "Hyper-X" Program Demonstrates Scramjet Technologies

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 17, 2002 12:06 PM
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