A HYPERSONIC jet that could travel from London to New York in just 45 MINUTES is being developed by NASA boffins.
The US space agency is planning to build a craft that would travel at five times the speed of sound - Mach 5 - and will spend $15million (£9.25million) over the next three years on the project.
The supersonic jet, Concorde, only flew at Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound.
The aircraft is being designed to fly into space - but if used for mainstream passenger travel it could cut flight times dramatically.
The journey from New York to Sydney would take around two-and-a-half hours instead of the 21 hours it currently takes.
Under the NASA Aeronautics 2010 proposal, engineers will look into "entry, descent and landing of high-mass vehicles entering into planetary atmospheres" and "air-breathing access to space".
The aim is to create a craft that can carry passengers through the Earth's atmosphere, descend and land safely before being reused.
The proposal states: "Space access launch vehicles must be lightweight, fully reusable and easily maintained if low-cost access to space is to be achieved."
In June an experimental scramjet aircraft set a record for hypersonic flight, lasting three minutes at Mach 6, or more than 4,500 mph.
In October Virgin's Galactic SpaceShipTwo completed its first solo flight after being taken to an altitude of 45,000ft and released over the Mojave Desert in America.
It is hoped the aircraft will provide the first widely available space tourist flights at a price of £125,000.
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