tirsdag 5. april 2022

Shanghai to New York in two hours? China joins the hypersonic flight race

Shanghai to New York in just a couple of hours? Not a problem when you fly in a hypersonic space plane. Beijing-based Space Transportation (aka Lingkong Tianxing in China) aims to make this prospect a reality with the development of a passenger-carrying vehicle that can hurtle across the skies at one mile per second -- over twice the speed of Concorde. The firm has released an animated publicity video showing passengers (no helmet or spacesuits required) board what appears to be a 12-seater space plane that nestles underneath an aerodynamic delta-shaped structure, flanked by two titanic booster rockets.

The vehicle launches vertically into the heavens, and upon reaching cruise altitude, the space plane separates from its boosters and then skims the edge of space at 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) per hour, landing vertically at its destination with the aid of a tripod-type undercarriage.