Technology

How Close Are We To Hypersonic Travel?

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?

Hypersonic speed greatly exceeds supersonic speed by Mach 5 and above. And supersonic speed is when you’re traveling faster than the speed of sound.

Traveling at the hypersonic speed seems crazy but it has been done multiple times in the past. For instance, In the 1960s NASA did achieve manned hypersonic travel through actual propulsion with an x-15 jet setting a speed record (7,274 KM/HR) or (4,520 MPH).

But traveling at the hypersonic speed for a long duration has a problem,  When you’re traveling below the speed of sound the temperature around the aircraft stay as close to the ambient temperature but once you break the sound barrier a shock wave is created and the gas molecules behind the shock wave become compressed this makes the air around the plane hot. Near hypersonic speeds, it’s so hot that it can damage the materials that make up the body of the airplane.

Explore more by watching the video:

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1 reply »

  1. We human creatures are an impatient lot. I can’t speak for those in your homeland, but we Americans are in a great hurry to reach their destination. And once we have arrived we can hardly wait to leave.

    I’m 81 years old. I’ve been in electronic communications since 1956 when I enlisted in the United States Air Force. I became an aircraft maintainer, keeping communications and navigation equipment working on B-52 planes. For the past 31 years I’ve been a licensed amateur radio operator. When it comes to chatting with someone, or finding my way, I’ve most like been there and done that.

    With the multitude of communications modes available to we humans–voice, digital, and telecommunications I see only a few needs for an eyeball visit–preventing a war, meeting a court date, arriving at the bedside of a loved one. Other than that I don’t see the necessity of traveling at such an outrageous speed. Besides, the joy of travel, in my opinion, is the journey.

    Except for keeping a bunch of engineer employed, finding the answers seems a tragic waste of resources.

    But who am I, an old man who is no longer in a great rush.

    Like

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