Travelling from New York to London, a journey of approximate 3471 miles (5586 kilometers) across the Atlantic Ocean, takes about seven and a half hours by plane, depending on the wind. When aeronautical technology has some much, why should a journey like this be so long? Seems, researchers have been asking the same questions themselves. And, DARPA, the Air Force, NASA, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney is supposed to test a new hypersonic aircraft today that can reach a speed of 4,500 mph within seconds. With the help of this new hypersonic aircraft, one could possibly travel from London to New York in an hour or less.
The name of this new hypersonic craft is X-51A Waverider. This new hypersonic craft uses a revolutionary ‘scramjet’ engine for which it can reach a speed of 4,500 mph within seconds. The hypersonic X-51A WaveRider belongs to the US military.
Any aircraft that flies past the speed of sound (343.2 metres or 1,126 ft per second) creates a sonic boom. Scientists believe, creating sonic boom the hypersonic X-51A WaveRider will take an hour or even less travelling from London to New York. In fact, the X-51A WaveRider is supposed to roar the sky travelling at five times the speed of sound. However, aviation engineers are going to have a test flight of this hypersonic craft today.
The X-51A WaveRider will be taken from US Edwards Air Force Base (which is in Californian Mojave Desert) to 50,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The hypersonic craft will be dropped from a B52 bomber for its first major test flight. Once it’s dropped, the engines will fire up and the craft will start its test journey. The cruiser is designed to ride its own shock wave. The test flight duration will last for just 300 seconds. After the historic test, the plane will crash into the sea. The interesting thing is hypersonic X-51A WaveRider will not be recovered from the sea.
NASA and the Pentagon has funded the project. The aim of this project is to produce hypersonic flight with speeds more than five times the speed of sound. It is being hoped, this hypersonic aircraft X-51A WaveRider can be used for military stealth aircraft and new weapons. It will cost £89 million to build the X-51A WaveRider.
At present, such a speedy aircraft is only being considered for use by the U.S. military. Who knows, in the future, travelers might be able to board such an incredible aircraft that will take an hour or less from London To New York.
Source : Daily Mail