THE US Air Force is splashing out $1.5 million on a contract to develop a hypersonic Mach 5 plane that President Donald Trump could use.
The super-fast jet plans were announced by aerospace firm Hermeus, which will be working on the small but super-fast passenger plane.
This is an artist’s impression of what the aircraft could look like[/caption]
Hypersonic aircraft are designed to travel over five times the speed of sound.
Mach 5 speed equates to around 3000mph.
It could mean Trump or any other US official could fly from New York to London in around 90 minutes, rather than 7 hours.
Its small size means it could never fully replace Air Force One as the standard plane that ferries US presidents but it could definitely be useful for speedy meetings.
Hermeus has already tested a hypersonic engine[/caption]
The $1.5 million investment will fund experts as they look into hypersonic military transportation.
According to Aviation Week Defense Editor Steve Trimble, the aim is to build an aircraft that could seat nine to 19 people.
Supersonic aircraft are said to travel at over five times the speed of sound[/caption]
Hermeus successfully tested a Mach 5 engine earlier this year.
It can take off and land like a normal plane but switch into ramjet mode for the middle part of the journey.
Brigadier General Ryan Britton, Program Executive Officer for Presidential and Executive Airlift said: “By leveraging commercial investment to drive new technologies into the Air Force, we are able to maximize our payback on Department of Defense investments.
“The Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate is proud to support Hermeus in making this game-changing capability a reality as we look to recapitalize the fleet in the future.”
What is a hypersonic jet?
Here’s some facts you should know…
Hypersonic aircraft can reach speeds five times the speed of sound or more.
Commercial planes we use to go on holiday on travel nowhere near as fast.
Hypersonic jets could be used to carry missiles or nuclear weapons at high speed.
If this tech is developed then nations could face missile threats in minutes rather than hours, giving them little time to prepare.
China and the US are both working on their own versions of these planes.
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In other news, the US has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Virgin Galactic has unveiled plans for a new super-jet that could whisk passengers from London to New York in 90 minutes.
And, billionaire Sir Richard Branson will rocket into space aboard a Virgin Galactic spaceship next year, the company has announced.
What are your thoughts on the hypersonic jet? Let us know in the comments…
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