Saturday, June 16, 2007

Oxygen As Fuel

Scientists launch scramjet in Australian Outback

Australian and US scientists successfully launched a supersonic scramjet engine at an Outback test range Friday, as they work on a device that could revolutionise air travel.

The researchers said a rocket carrying the scramjet reached speeds of mach 10 -- ten times the speed of sound -- after blasting off at the Woomera range in South Australia Friday.

What is a scramjet?
Scramjets are supersonic combustion engines that use oxygen from the atmosphere for fuel, making them lighter and faster than fuel carrying rockets.

Scientists hope that one day a scramjet aircraft fired into space could cut travelling time from Sydney to London to as little as two hours.

Impressive. It would probably cut traveling costs as well, if the fuel used by the jets come free out of thin air. (Courtesy, Instapundit)

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