Friday, June 15, 2007

Scramjet Tested at Mach 10

Scientists and engineers from the U.S. and Australia successfully tested a supersonic combustion ramjet--or scramjet--aircraft high above the Australian outback, reaching speeds up to 11,000 km (6,835 miles) per hour, or 10 times the speed of sound.

Flight data will be examined over coming weeks and compared to ground tests conducted in the United States, DARPA chief researcher Steven Walker said in a statement.

Scramjets, in the shorter term, will allow more powerful military aircraft. Eventually, they will allow faster civilian air travel and cheaper satellite launches.

1 comment:

Martin J Sallberg said...

Martin J Sallberg
Useful Casimir effect for cheap spacelaunches.
The Casimir effect is traditionally demonstrated by placing two thin parallel plates mere micrometers apart in a vacuum and letting them slam together. The effect is due to vacuum energy. It can in principle be used to modify the vacuum for cheap spacelaunches and efficient space travel, but that requires preventing the plates from slamming together, so that the Casimir effect remains. That can be done by repulsive magnetic fields or by mechanically holding the plates in the edges (only in the edges, to keep the space between them). Another possibility is to abandon the parallel plates altogether and use microchannels or other microscopic holes instead. Anyone is free to build it, I am not going to claim any patent or money.