Features

Hypersonic leap

National

Issue: "Year in Review 2004," Jan. 1, 2005

Forget about going around the world in 80 days. What about three and a half hours? NASA tested an engine which could do just that. On Nov. 16, the government's Scramjet, an experimental hypersonic plane, stretched its wings over broad swaths of the Pacific Ocean. During the tests the unmanned Scramjet flew into the record books by hitting Mach 9.8, or 7,000 miles an hour. At that speed, Scramjet could have flown from Los Angeles to New York in just 20 minutes.

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