Boeing’s New High-Speed Aircraft Is Hypersonic

For the technological world’s forward-thinkers, “fast and furious” is a mantra to live by. Take it from China’s brand new railway, hightailing at 350 km per hour, and America’s first bullet train. While both have graced earthly grounds with their impeccable speed, Boeing is taking it to the skies. Valkyrie II is a groundbreaking hypersonic aircraft that can circle the globe in just 1 – 3 hours, aimed for launch in 10 – 20 years.

“This particular concept is for a military application that would be targeted for an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, and strike capabilities.” … said Kevin Bowcutt, Senior Technical Fellow of hypersonics.

The strike jet uses shockwaves to increase lift and run quicker than pretty much any moving object on the planet. To put things into perspective, Valkyrie II is 2.5 times the speed of an actual bullet.

“It’s more than twice as fast as the Concorde. So basically you can get anywhere in the world in one hour across the Atlantic, two hours across the Pacific – pretty much anywhere between two points in one-to-three hours.”

Sure, the airliner won’t launch commercially, but there’s no harm in hoping it will. I wouldn’t mind jetting off to Guam for a weekend.

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China Launches World’s Fastest High-Speed Railway

Trains are getting much-needed makeovers and it’s about time we all hop on board. In July, India launched the world’s first solar-powered train, running for up to 27 hours on a single charge. Not to be outdone, China unveiled Fuxing, the world’s swiftest high-speed railway traveling at speeds of 350 km per hour.

“The purpose of raising the speed is mainly symbolic,” [said] Zhao Jian, economics professor and commentator. “The train is the fastest in the world, which implies the strength of Chinese train technology and science,”

So it may be an ego thing, but if passengers can get from Beijing to Shanghai in 30 minutes less, why not? In 2011, for safety reasons, engineers limited bullet train speeds to 300 km per hour. However, it seems China is willing to up the ante for economic benefits.

“Nobody predicted that the high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai would be profitable when it was built… But after a seven to eight-year development, it gains, so it can work in other regions as well after eight to 10 years,”

While it is a giant leap for eager travelers, I sure do hope it’s a secure one as well.

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