Log In
Flight Journal 20-20 600x120

NASA: Commercial Hypersonic Planes Decades Away

NASA: Commercial Hypersonic Planes Decades Away

Like some hypersonic carrot, the idea of breakfast in Paris; breakfast again in New York; then late night cocktails in Tokyo — all within the same 12 hour workday — has been dangled in front of the flying public for so long now that any mention of Mach 7 aircraft may trigger involuntary eye-rolls.

Hypersonics using rocket propulsion is a staple of the space age, but hypersonics using air-breathing aircraft engines is something altogether more challenging. Such technology involves aircraft designed to traverse the atmosphere at speeds at least 5 times that of sound — (3,300 mph at altitude).

The key to making it happen are scramjets (supersonic combustion ramjet engines), which allow for supersonic airflow through the engine’s combustion chamber. That’s a feat currently not possible or advisable on commercial turbofan engines — like those used on most commercial airliners.

Although scramjets were first conceptualized in the 1950s, no one has yet achieved the development of a sustainable and reliable hypersonic aircraft propulsion system.

For the complete story by Bruce Dorminey of Forbes, click here.

Updated: December 28, 2012 — 3:54 PM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Airage Media © 2017
For all Licensing, Permissions, Awards and Reprint requests please contact our official partner Wright's Media for more information. Please note that Wright's Media is the only authorized company that we’ve partnered with for materials and assets. Wright's Media contact: airage@wrightsmedia.com or (877) 652-5295.
WordPress Video Lightbox