The project of Chinese researchers is surprising: a scaled-down version of their I-plane to seven times the speed of sound. The ultra-fast plane will be able to take dozens of people and tonnes of cargo from Beijing to New York in about two hours.
The plane would travel at more than 6,000km/h and, according to the researchers led by Cui Kai wrote in a paper this month in Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy, published by Science China Press: “It will take only a couple of hours to travel from Beijing to New York at hypersonic speed”.
The team at the academy’s Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics, under the Institute of Mechanics, have called the new hypersonic vehicle the “I-plane” in the name of the I-plane design used during the first world war.
This latest hypersonic vehicle features lower wings that reach out from the middle of the fuselage like a pair of embracing arms.
Unfortunately not only the airplanes are becoming hypersonic, but also the weapons. China and the United States are racing to develop them.
To restrain the development of supersonic aircraft now are the huge amount of heat, possibly exceeding 1,000 degrees Celsius, and capacity for only a small, lightweight payload.