A team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have tested a hypersonic plane in a wind tunnel to speeds of Mach 7, or 5,600 miles per hour, according to a paper published in the Chinese journal Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy.
The test adds significance to U.S. Admiral Harry Harris's warning to Congress that China is looking to lead the global hypersonic arms race. Hypersonic vehicles are considered potential strategic game-changers. The speed would allow for greater global reach, but also could nullify current air defenses.
The project is led by Cui Kai who touted the project's peaceful uses, remarking in his article that it could fly from Beijing to New York in two hours.