Imagine crossing the Atlantic on your lunch hour… That possibility has just gotten much closer to reality. Engineers and scientists say they are very close to perfecting the technology for the creation of a hypersonic jet that will be able to travel at 25 times the speed of sound, which could reduce the flight time between New York and London to under an hour.
Specialists at Reaction Engines are testing a Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine or SABRE, for short, that may be poised to revolutionize hypersonic travel.
The biggest obstacle for developing such technology has come down to being able to keep such an engine cool.
The most famous hypersonic jet used for airline travel was the Concorde, which was able to reach speeds of Mach 2, but the aircraft’s engine got quite hot.
Now, engineers believe they have developed technology that will overcome the heating problem. The solution is something called a “pre-cooler” and it has been created by specialists at Reaction Engines in the UK.
Preliminary tests successful
So far, the tests have been successful at simulated speeds of Mach 3.3, which equates to roughly 2,509 miles per hour.
Reaction Engines engineers conducted tests using a General Electric J79 turbojet engine, in which they the replicated conditions of hypersonic speeds.
What they are aiming for is to keep the engines cool, while reaching hypersonic speed, as well as, finding the right balance that produces fuel efficiency.
Elon Musk in the game also
Elon Musk and others are also trying to develop high-speed travel. Musk’s Space X Starship is working on being able to transport passengers across the Atlantic in only 29 minutes. Just weeks ago, Swiss financial services firm UBS predicted that Musk’s team would accomplish that feat.