Technology: Scramjet is tested at Woomera.
Technology never stands still. Mankind progressed very slowly for centuries, but now things move forward at a rapid pace. Air transport could change dramatically in coming decades. The US and Australia are testing a hypersonic rocket that can travel at five times the speed of sound. Because of the angle of liftoff, together with takeoff and landing speeds, you couldn't really enjoy a lunch and drink while sitting in your seat.
Woomera in South Australia is the busy testing site. The project is not aimed at space flight. Passenger travel is the main goal. A journey from London to Sydney is estimated to take two hours. The arduous passage though would mean taking your meal preferably after the flight.
Australia helped develop the scramjet which uses oxygen from the atmosphere for power as the jet rockets upward. Consequently, it does not have to carry heavy and expensive fuel. Tests began in 2009. Norway and Germany are also involved in the project. The target completion date is in 2018.
◆ Technology by Ty Buchanan ◆
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