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A unmanned jet will attempt to reach speeds of 3,600 mph Tuesday morning and if it does, travelers with Virgin Galactic-level money may one day be able to buy a seat on a hypersonic commercial flight.

On Tuesday, a test flight over the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles could pave the way for hypersonic commercial air travel that would cut the time of a cross-country flight from over five hours to less than one.

A B-52 will carry the the X-51 WaveRider “scramjet” unmanned test craft on its wing from Edwards Air Force Base out over Point Mugu.  At about 50,000 feet over the ocean, the B-52 will drop the craft which, if all goes well, will reach speeds of about 3,600 mph (or Mach 6)  if only for about 300 seconds, according to The Los Angeles Times.

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