Surge of the Scramjet
It was the fastest flight in history. On November 16, 2004, NASA’s X43-A scramjet hit a maximum speed of Mach 9.8 in an experimental flight off the coast of California. The previous record, set just six months earlier by another NASA scramjet, stood at Mach 7. The scramjet engines could someday be used on passenger planes, potentially cutting a flight to the other side of the globe down to just a couple hours. To see a video of the record-breaking event, click on the link to the left.