11:11 AM

Do they even make
airspeed indicators for this?

Thirty minutes, JFK to Heathrow…not even enough time to be served soda pop and stale pretzels.

That’s the number being bounced around for future SST flights on airliners using Scramjet technology. Scientists from the UK – working with JAXA out of Japan – this week successfully tested a Hyshot IV aircraft, with these results:

The 4 feet 6 inch-long Hyshot aircraft reached a speed of 6,000mph - Mach 8 or eight times the speed of sound - during tests in Australia.
Still decades away from being applied to commercial flights, the scramjet works by combining and compressing air and hydrogen until they ignite, uses no fossil fuels and produces exhaust fumes made up entirely of water.

However, the scramjet can only compress the gas mixture sufficiently once it reaches five times the speed of sound. This means that any airplane fitted with the system would also need conventional engines capable of accelerating it to this initial speed of nearly 4,000 mph.

Read more about JAXA here, and the full article about the Aussie flight here.

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