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A scientific breakthrough could mean an end to long-haul flights after boffins discovered a way to stop engines from melting when they travel at 25 times the speed of sound.

Specialists at Reaction Engines say they have created a 'pre-cooler', which worked at simulated speeds of Mach 3.3 - or 2,509 mph to the laymen - meaning hypersonic travel could be on the horizon.

The next test for the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine - or Sabre, for short - is to see if it can withstand speeds of Mach 5.5 (4,200mph). If so, it could cut flight time between London and New York to under an hour.

Carrying out the tests at a centre in Colorado, Reaction used a General Electric J79 turbojet engine to replicate the conditions for hypersonic speeds. It's hoped they will be able to find a balance between the fuel efficiency of a jet and the speed of a rocket.

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Arizona City, United States
08.04.2019 (293 days ago)