Aeronautics: Here Comes the Flying Stovepipe

Though it is still in the stage of wind-tunnel studies and drawing-board proposals, the much-heralded U.S. supersonic transport, which is scheduled to carry 150 passengers at speeds up to 1,900 m.p.h. by 1974, is already old-hat to some aeronautical engineers. They are working on a new and swifter generation of jets that will streak into the still unexplored speed range between the Air Force X-15's record 4,104 m.p.h. and the 17,500-m.p.h. velocities of orbiting space capsules. Designed for the near future, these scramjets (supersonic combustion ramjets) will be powered by an engine out of the near past—an advanced version...

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