Researchers: supersonic jet test a success

March 25, 2006

Defense researchers believe the test of a new jet engine succeeded in hitting Mach 7.6 speed as they develop technology for faster air travel.

Britain-based QinetiQ designed Hyshot III which was launched just north of Adelaide Australia.

Although officials will need to analyze the data, researcher Rachel Owen said initial reviews look like the test was successful, the BBC reports.

Although the ram jet operates from simple technology, testing is difficult.

It is shot 195 miles in the air attached to a rocket, then detaches and crashes down to Earth hitting Mach 8 speeds.

The testing lasts six seconds and takes place at Mach 7.6, or seven times the speed of sound, between 22 miles and 14 miles above the ground.

The supersonic combustion ramjet uses oxygen compressed and heated by the high speeds to ignite the engine, using gas exhaust to fuel its velocity.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and Australian Defense Science and Technology Organization will conduct similar follow-up tests.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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