China is developing a hypersonic aircraft to take pilots, and perhaps even passengers, to the edge of space.
A state aerospace firm has reportedly begun research on an aircraft capable of taking off from a runway and carrying a crew into low Earth orbit.
The design is purported to be a more efficient successor to Nasa’s Space Shuttle, which was launched on a rocket but landed on a runway.
When completed it could dramatically reduce the costs of space travel and give China a boost in the renewed space race.
According to Popular Science, the aircraft would take off like a normal plane, before a supersonic scramjet engine kicks in to lift it to almost 100 km above sea level.
At this point, rocket boosters will provide the additional thrust, giving it enough power to escape the clutches of Earth's lower atmosphere.
Plans for the plane were discussed on state broadcaster CCTV, with a plane entering service by 2030.
justin.fuller, Metro Manila, Philippines, 1 hour ago
If it is like anything else that they make, I will give it a pass thank you!
IL-19, Salt Lake City, United States, 1 hour ago
Oh, please! I've been reading this story for 35 years. Come talk to me after a few successful flight tests.
Jasonn, Long Beach, 1 hour ago
Who did they steal that design from?
OC Guy, Orange County CA, 2 hours ago
Sneaky Chinese. Wonder who they stole the plans from???
Jim Tompson, LA, United States, 2 hours ago
If combined cycle worked we would have used it 25 years ago.
Carlos Jax, Jacksonville, United States, 2 hours ago
Chinese will rule the earth in 100 years. Meanwhile Americans are playing more low IQ basketball and football games. Idiots and fools.
fgarvin88888, Pittsburgh, United States, 2 hours ago
Hope they only fly over the ocean so the cheap plastic parts don't hit us below.
Joe Met, Prescott, United States, 3 hours ago
And I just wonder where they stole this technology from this time?
T Frederick Gimm, chicago, United States, 4 hours ago
Now, if they could just make a decent screwdriver.
its just too much, Tyne and wear, United Kingdom, 4 hours ago
So why do we send aid to China again?
Jjackinbox, Tampa, United States, 4 hours ago
Impressive! The media hypes how advanced China is now. They have one crappy aircraft carrier and now "Plans" for a plane in 15 years, which the USA this 60 years ago! China never ceases to amaze. NOT
jonrs, perth, Australia, 4 hours ago
They've only just managed to start building their own aircraft carrier and dubious passenger aircraft, so by the time they catch up with technology will still be 30 years behind. They love to talk and show off then come up with bull...t stories such s the fake traffic straddling bus last week.......