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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just heard on the news that an experimental Air Force jet was dropped from a B-52 and broke the hypersonic speed record.

This little jet (shades of the X-15 and Chuck Yeager) went Mach 6 for a sustained 200 seconds (3.3 minutes). They did not say if it was a piloted vehicle or not.

Hmm, Mach 6 (Speed of Sound is 768 mph x 6 = 4,608 mph)....WOW! :eek2:
 

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Impressive. I can't wait to see one and hear more about it. If it was piloted, I bet that was a helluva ride!
 

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Talk about thrust! I can't even imagine going that fast - what a rush!
 

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Scramjets are cool. They only operate at hypersonic speeds, so the airplane needs a rocket booster to get it to > Mach 4 before they can light the engine (another reason why it's unmanned, they can make it smaller and use cheaper, smaller rockets).

And the engine essentially has no moving parts, they inject and ignite fuel in front of a shockwave that's established at the intake, and it basically just behaves like a rocket engine, shooting thrust out the back. It's more an air-breathing rocket than a jet engine.

Theoretical maximum velocities for scramjets are in the range sufficient to reach escape velocity, which is why they're so attractive a technology. Being able to launch a rocket without having to carry oxidizer means more room for payload.
 
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