A Mach 5 Jet design. Credit: Reaction Engines
A British company is moving towards the future of high speed air transport. The LAPCAT concept envisions a new engine design, SCIMITAR, to propel an aircraft up to mach 5 in order to reach the other side of the world in 2 to 4 hours. Reaction Engines designed the engines to use their heat exchange technology to super-cool the engines as they heat from the tremendous thrust. What intrigues me is the possibility of using this design as an atmospheric boost for a low-orbit rocket plane which could then return to Earth on its own.
For more information including engine cutaway and video, check out Parabolic Arc's article at http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/11/28/reaction-engines-plans-for-a-mach-5-point-to-point-transport/
Enjoy the future!