"NASA will attempt to break the aircraft speed record next week by flying a jet plane at 7,000 mph, or nearly 10 times the speed of sound," Wired News says.The unmanned flight will mark the third time NASA has tested its new supersonic-combustion ramjet, or "scramjet," engine, which has no moving parts and emits only water as exhaust. The first test, in 2001, had to be aborted when the rocket that boosts the small X-43A [experimental] aircraft to its flying height spun out of control over the Pacific Ocean. The second test, in March of this year, went more smoothly, with the plane reaching a record-breaking speed of 5,000 mph, or nearly seven times the speed of sound.NASA hopes to set a new record with its third flight Monday, when it will try to push the X-43A aircraft to Mach 10, or 10 times the speed of sound. In contrast, most commercial planes fly under Mach 1. Speaking of supersonic, here's an article of mine from last year on the Pentagon's push to build a Mach 4 missile. And another one, on the last flight of the Concorde.
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