hypersonic stories

 
Yesterday, the Air Force conducted a third test flight of its X-51a "Waverider" hypersonic cruise missile, hoping for 300 seconds worth of sustained scramjet-powered flight at over Mach 5. It could have gone worse, but not by much: a faulty control fin caused the vehicle to break apart and crash into the ocean just over 30 seconds after launch.
 
Ever since the last flight of the Concorde, the priorities for air travel have changed from going faster to going more efficiently. An EU-sponsored study called LAPCAT has been trying to shake things up with a hypersonic aircraft called the A2, which would take 300 passengers anywhere on Earth at over Mach 5.

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