Ever since Concorde retired in 2003, commercial flight hasn’t been as insanely fast as it used to be. That doesn’t mean aerospace engineers have given up on getting you from New York to London any faster, though. Airbus recently filed patent documents for a new hypersonic aircraft with no less than three engine types…
Boeing's X-51A WaveRider Scramjet has had its share of bad luck. While its first test flight in 2010 went fine, the two that followed ended with unsatisfactory plops. Now, the USAF has just completed the fourth and final test, and the result was a screaming 370 seconds of scramjet glory and literally hypersonic speeds.
The U.S. Air Force's experimental X-51A Waverider set a hypersonic flight record when it flew at Mach 5 — five times the speed of sound — for more than three minutes. The previous scramjet record was a mere 12 seconds.