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Beijing to New York in two hours? China reveals plans for new supersonic jet

China's latest flight of fancy can reach speeds of up to 6,000kph

Researchers at Beijing's Chinese Academy of Sciences have unveiled the design for a new supersonic jet capable of reaching speeds of up to 6,000kph – five times the speed of sound.

In a paper published in this month's Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy journal, head researcher Cui Kai asserts that the state-of-the-art jet will be able to transport passengers and cargo from Beijing to New York in just two hours, a trip that normally takes 14 hours by passenger plane.

The team, which is also involved in China’s top secret hypersonic weapons program, tested a scaled-down model of the jet in a wind tunnel, where it reached speeds of up to 8,600kph (seven times the speed of sound). In comparison, Concorde's top speed was only 2,179kph.

For now, China's latest flight of fancy seems to be just that, with real-world testing outside of the wind tunnel yet to take place. Additionally, the jet's capacity is expected to be incredibly small, with the ability to carry just 50 passengers and five tonnes of cargo (the average 737 can currently take 200 passengers and 30 tonnes of cargo). Fares are also expected to start at 2,500 USD (roughly 15,850RMB), so unless you've got money to burn, any plans for warp-speed might be coming to a halt.

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