A research team in China has built and tested a prototype hypersonic flight engine based on a bold design by a Nasa scientist more than two decades ago.Unlike most hypersonic aircraft with an engine at the belly, the Two Stage Vehicle (TSV) X-plane proposed by Ming Han Tang – then chief engineer of Nasa’s hypersonic programme in the late 1990s – was driven by two separate engines on the sides.The engines could work as normal turbine jet engines at lower speed and then switch to a high-speed…

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