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Could we fly from London to New York in an hour? NASA scientists test 4,500mph hypersonic jet (PHOTO)

Could we fly from London to New York in an hour? NASA scientists test 4,500mph hypersonic jet (PHOTO)

Scramjet engine can accelerate craft to over Mach 6
Could dramatically slash journey times by travelling at five times the speed of sound

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 06:00 EST, 13 August 2012 | UPDATED: 18:21 EST, 13 August 2012

It looks like something you’d expect to see launch from Tracy Island.
But this Thunderbirds-style aircraft could be the future of long-haul flights.

The hypersonic X-51A WaveRider belongs to the US military and uses a revolutionary ‘scramjet’ engine to reach 4,500mph within seconds.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2187520/Londo...



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Scramjets

burn fuel very inefficiently. They are high-operating cost, with the potential to have relatively low manufacturing cost. My guess is the military intends this "craft" to be the bomb itself and further reduce their operating cost by having no need of a return mission.

They'll probably learn some things that can be leveraged toward peaceful uses of hypersonic flight, but so much of this thing's mission will be incompatable with human transportation.

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