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China plans to build 12,000mph hypersonic plane that can fly anywhere in an hour
December 10, 2021
A hypersonic aircraft is being built by China to fly 10 people anywhere on the planet within an hour.
Images of the futuristic prototype show it with a pair of delta wings which unlike the Concorde, is built with upward pointing tips.
Thanks to an advanced aerodynamic design, China's hypersonic plane with soar through the sky at a staggering five times the speed of sound.
Long term plans are for a fleet of hypersonic aircraft to be able to transport 100 people each at the speed of a rocket.
At 148ft, the aircraft will stretch longer than a Boeing 737 and on its main body will be two air-breathing engines, South China Morning Post reports.
Incredibly the design is inspired by a former Nasa chief engineer over 20 years ago but was scrapped by the US government due to high costs and technical issues, Interesting Engineering reports.
In the late 1990s, Ming Han Tang's Two-Stage Vehicle (TSV) X-plane design was at the centre of the Boeing Manta X-47C program but it never made progressed beyond the early stages.
China reviving the expensive and ambitious design reflects the nation's significant investment in the space race.
Developers have already tested the aircraft's performance at extremely high altitudes, and have since advised on added protection and strengthening to specific areas.
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At 4,447mph – the equivalent to six times the speed of sound – certain parts of the plane were impacted with sudden spikes of heat and pressure and needed reenforcing.
The aircraft's two successful space missions were the first time any country had completed either mission in one go, The Sun reports.
According to the South China Morning Post, by 2025, scientists will sign off the hypersonic aircraft with a new generation of air-breathing engine capable of matching the speed of a rocket.
Then an official timeline states China expects to be operating an entire fleet of the aircraft – so fast that passengers can travel to opposite corners of the Earth within an hour.
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Finally by 2045, plans are for more than 100 passengers to be seated each flight.
China has been stockpiling hypersonic nuclear weapons that are capable of evading all the existing anti-missile shields.
The communist country is stockpiling the land-based hypersonic ballistic nuclear missile known as Dong Feng 17 or DF-17. These nuclear weapons can reach speeds of up to 7,680mph, which is ten times the speed of sound.