NASA Unveils Scramjet Prototype

from the who-needs-fuel-when-you've-got-oxygen dept

NASA is getting ready to test their new “scramjet” prototype plane. People have talked about such technologies for years, but they’ve been pretty difficult to build. Everyone involved seems to think this could be a revolutionary step in air travel. If you’re unfamiliar with the scramjet concept, it’s to take oxygen from the air as its fuel. This prototype is going to fly at 5,000 mph, but can’t take off or land on its own yet. They suggest that practical applications of the technology won’t show up for another 25 years or so.

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Comments on “NASA Unveils Scramjet Prototype”

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Brian says:

Mis-represented X43 purpose.

I don’t know why the media is pitching this prototype as the future of commercial aircraft. This is ment to be the next shuttle. There could be incredible savings in $/pound into space if we could develop a plane that could take off and fly horizontally. Two problems…

1. how do you reach escape velocity without rockets (scramjet)


2. how would you get the plane up to mach 7 so you could use the scramjet (either a hybrid engine that can convert from a typical jet engine into a scramjet on the fly, or additional booster engines used for subsonic and supersonic flight… some might even suggest using a rocket to power the plane up to mach 7, which was done in WWII by the germans )

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