I’ve long had a fascination for hypersonics, ever since I saw footage of the Mach 10 X-43 flight as a kid. The concept of those levels of speed and beyond, and how the aerodynamic “rules” we’re most familiar with begin to change. The intense heat, power and compression the hearts of these extreme air-breathers achieve with their elegantly-designed SCRAMJET engines, which themselves have to be boosted up to supersonic speeds before they can even begin to breathe…
Not to mention the realm in which these machines operate in - many miles above the surface of the Earth, grazing the edge of space, in absolute transcendence of
It’s the realm of extremes, and I’m in love with it.
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Late-stage aerosaurs would love it up there. Kinda toying with the idea of a high altitude aerosaur/spacecraft biomech race which orbits and live just within the edges of the Earths’ atmosphere. On occasion however, they need to send emissaries to the surface - for fuel, material, information, etc
Moving between the Earth’s surface is a costly thing however, so it is a rare event for their ancestors below to receive any visitors.
And when they return to the stars, it is a spectacle to behold.
“Gotta go fast!”
You know it’s intense acceleration when you gotta shear off your own wings for that drag reduction. (Some X-51 inspiration here!)