At Mach 6, a roar into the future
LOS ANGELES (MCT) — Since test pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947, engineers and scientists have dreamed of ever-faster aircraft. Now, they face one of their toughest challenges yet: sustaining hypersonic flight — going five times the speed of sound or more — for more than a few minutes.
In a nondescript hangar at Edwards Air Force Base in California’s Mojave Desert, a team of aerospace engineers has been putting the finishing touches on a lightning-quick experimental aircraft designed to fly above the Pacific Ocean at 3,600 mph. A passenger aircraft traveling at that speed could fly from Los Angeles to New York in 46 minutes.
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