Hypersonic Flight

Scramjet is tested for hypersonic flights between Australia and Britain. The current 20 hour flight can be reduced to 2 hours at about 4,970 miles per hour. Considerably faster than the speed of sound, mach 1 (approximately 761 mph at sea-level), the scramjet flies at mach 5. The implications are many: "The possible future defence applications for hypersonic vehicles include long-range reconnaissance of potentially global proportions, while civilian applications include low-cost satellite launching and high-speed aircraft."

Scramjet-powered passenger vehicles may still be a long way off, but other hypersonic flight vehicles will likely be developed within the next decade.