News: Hello, Mach 6! Hypersonic Scramjet Shatters Speed Records

Hello, Mach 6! Hypersonic Scramjet Shatters Speed Records

Hello, Mach 6! Hypersonic Scramjet Shatters Speed Records

Holy *&@!... imagine flying faster than a speeding bullet. Or traveling at 1 mile per SECOND. Or being propelled 6 X the speed of sound.

Via the LA Times:

"An aircraft resembling a large bodyboard detached from a flying B-52 bomber and then shot across the Pacific on Wednesday at more than 3,500 mph, shattering aviation records and reigniting decades-long efforts to develop a vehicle that could travel faster than a speeding bullet.

The unmanned X-51 WaveRider, powered by an air-breathing hypersonic engine that has virtually no moving parts, was launched midair off the coast near Point Mugu. It sped westward for 200 seconds before plunging into the ocean as planned. Previous attempts at hypersonic flights lasted no more than 10 seconds.

Since the 1960s, the Air Force has been flirting with hypersonic technology, which can propel vehicles at a velocity that cannot be achieved from traditional turbine-powered jet engines."

Other than the obvious fact that this kind of technology is simply *extremely cool*, one may ask: "How just might this apply to me?"

A hypersonic powered passenger airplane would be able to fly from Los Angeles to New York in just 30 minutes.

Dear God, I hope it happens in my lifetime.

2 Comments

This statement "A hypersonic powered passenger airplane would be able to fly from Los Angeles to New York in just 30 minutes." is misleading. It assumes that you are flying full speed from point to point. It also assumes that planes will be allowed to fly over the mainland USA breaking the sound barrier. With respect to the flight, assuming no delays when you leave the departure gate you have to taxi, then you have the take off roll and then the sub sonic climb to cruising altitude. Now consider that a 747 cruising at .86M at 39,000ft will start its decent approx 120 nautical miles from the airport. The Concord flew at 2M @ 60,000 feet. The SR-71 M3.5 flew 85,000+. I assume that a hypersonic plane would fly at 120,000' or more. This means that the decent would start at the New Mexico / Arizona border. You would then have about a 40 min or longer decent, landing and taxi making the trip much longer than 30 minutes.

The author needs to do his research.

NY - LA is too short. NY to Tokyo or Sidney makes more sense.

I should have been more precise with respect to the 744. The 744 for example will cruise anywhere from 0.83 to 0.85 FL330-FL360.

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