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Future of Travel at 4,000 mph

The days of the Concorde are past, but superfast air travel could still be part of your future. A few supersonic business jets are already in the design stages, but now an even faster category called hypersonic?for Mach 5 and up?is showing promise. The European Union recently put up the equivalent of $14 million to fund further study of the A2 hypersonic design from British firm Reaction Engines Ltd. The company says it’s Scimitar engine could drive the ship at Mach 5.5, flying from London to Sydney in under four hours. The airplane would carry 300 passengers at a ticket price comparable to today’s business class, the company says, and the engines would use clean-burning hydrogen fuel. Service could start within 25 years if there is enough funding. (www.reactionengines.co.uk

?Mary Grady

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