[Thanks to United Kingdom UFO Mailing List for sending this article, which appeared recently in the Daily Mail (UK, March 1996), written by David Norris.]
This could be the shape of things to come, the hypersonic flying saucer. Scientists believe that within decades it might whisk passengers from London to New York in 15 minutes, or to Sydney in 48 minutes, travelling at 15,000mph. The travel breakthrough involves the way the new craft, measuring 30ft across, could harness and accelerate the shock waves it would make as it flew. A microwave beam sent out from the craft's bulbous nose could create a conical path ahead, directing the explosive force of the shock waves over the saucer rim. Electrodes set around the rim would pick up power sent out from orbiting satellites and accelerate the shock waves, directing them behind the craft into a tail stream that would catapult the saucer forward at Mach 25 -- 25 times the speed of sound.
The saucer, called a Lightcraft, would have no need to carry the vast amounts of chemical fuel present day rockets use to achieve the speed necessary to escape the Earth's gravitational pull. Aerospace engineer Leik Myrabo, who is developing the saucer's power system, said: "In effect, the entire vehicle becomes the engine."
Once in space, it would describe a parabola before entering the Earth's atmosphere again for landing. Details of the Lightcraff, which would have no need of long runways or large airports, are revealed in the current issue of New Scientist magazine, which says it is "not science fantasy, but the goal of serious researchers." Mr Myrabo is working at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, in New York state, with the assistance of Russian physicist Yuri Raizer, who is based in Moscow. Mr Myrabo has developed a wind tunnel that can produce shock waves of more than Mach 25 to test his theories.
Original file name: .CNI - HIGH SPEED SAUCER? 3.11
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