May 20, 2016

"A two-hour flight from Sydney to London is a step closer to reality after the latest successful test Wednesday of hypersonic technology in the Australian desert."

Yahoo News: A joint US-Australian military research team is running a series of 10 trials at the world's largest land testing range, Woomera in South Australia, and at Norway's Andoya Rocket Range. via AFP

'"It is a game-changing technology... and could revolutionise global air travel, providing cost-effective access to space," Australia's chief scientist Alex Zelinsky said in a statement.

'Scientists have said hypersonic technology could cut travelling time from Sydney to London to as little as two hours for the 17,000-kilometre (19,540-mile) flight. Hypersonic flight involves travelling at more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5).

'Scientists involved in the programme -- called Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) -- are developing an engine that can fly at Mach 7, Michael Smart of the University of Queensland told AFP.

'"It's an exciting time... we want to be able to fly with a hypersonic engine at Mach 7," said Smart, a hypersonics expert involved in the programme which also includes US aerospace giant Boeing and German space agency DLR.'

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