European Space Agency (ESA) has set a goal to design and develop a plane that will move five times faster than the speed of light and six times faster than the standard airliners.
For the first time in 1960, tests were done on X-15 i.e. half-plane and half-missile project that carried one pilot for 90 seconds and even after 50 years, hypersonic passenger plane is still under trials.
A team led by ESA, known as Lapcat, is working on an aircraft called as A2 that could work efficiently as compared to X-15.
Scientists and Experts have referred the speed of sound as “Mach 1” and it would involve extremely complicated technology to move faster than Mach 1 as physics changes above the speed of sound i.e. Mach 1 and at Mach 5 or 6 it again changes i.e. gases and metals work differently. Even the airliners’ engines at subsonic speeds of Mach 0.85 or 913 km per hour won’t work. Another problem is that of heat, which develops because of friction of the outer shell with the atmosphere and the temperature could rise up to 1000 degrees Celsius.
A2 is thought to take passengers at the speed beyond Mach 5 but according to engineers, it will take some decades to overcome the technological and economical problems and A2 is not expected to fly until 2040.