Brussels to Tokyo in two hours

Published in Horizon, 22 Jun 2016

A typical flight from Brussels to Tokyo takes over 11 hours – but imagine if that time was shaved to just two and a quarter.

That is the sort of possibility offered by hypersonic jets, which travel at many times the speed of sound – and which researchers in Europe are trying to make a reality.

‘Getting in a couple of hours to the other side of the world is quite impressive and nearly unimaginable,’ said aerospace engineer Dr Johan Steelant of the European Space Agency in the Netherlands. ‘I’m still amazed that classical aeroplanes weighing 500 tonnes are able to hang in the air travelling at 800 to 900 kilometres per hour – but just imagine if we could crank this speed up to seven to eight times faster.’ […]

The rest of this article is available here.