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How Close Are We? S2 • E5

How Close Are We To Hypersonic Travel?

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Published on Jan 24, 2019

Flying at hypersonic speed could revolutionize transportation, but there are incredible engineering and logistical challenges we need to get through first. So, how close are we to hypersonic travel?

How Close Are We? Playlist - https://youtu.be/ZW_YCWLyv6A

Boeing's planned hypersonic airliner could fly from NYC to London in two hours
https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/...
“Boeing has unveiled plans for what could be the world’s first hypersonic airliner, a sleek, futuristic-looking craft that the Seattle-based company said would be capable of flying five times the speed of sound, or about 3,800 miles per hour.

At that speed — Mach 5 in aviation parlance — it would be possible to travel from New York City to London in about two hours instead of the eight hours the trip takes on a conventional airliner”

NASA Armstrong Fact Sheet: X-15 Hypersonic Research Program
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstron...
“These experiments - —28 of them -— ranged from astronomy to micrometeorite collection. They included tests of horizon definition and proposed insulation that bore fruit in the navigation equipment and thermal protection used on the Saturn launch vehicles in the Apollo program, which dispatched 12 astronauts to the moon and back. Among the 12 was Neil Armstrong, the first human to step on the moon's surface and a former X-15 pilot who also flew many other research aircraft at the Flight Research Center.”

Air-breathing planes: the spaceships of the future?
https://www.newscientist.com/article/...
“A popular solution to this problem is the scramjet, which does not slow air down very much, but instead quickly mixes the fast-flowing air with fuel together to create thrust. But scramjets are only useful above Mach 5, meaning another system, perhaps a conventional rocket, is needed to propel the plane to hypersonic speeds.”

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Special thanks to Maren Hunsberger for hosting this episode of Seeker!

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