In a nondescript hangar at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, a team of aerospace engineers has been putting the finishing touches on a lightning-quick experimental aircraft designed to fly above the Pacific Ocean at 3,600 mph. A passenger aircraft traveling at that speed could fly from Los Angeles to New York in 46 minutes.
Or, you know, about 4 hours and 46 minutes once you figure in all the other bullshit that's involved in flying these days.
But, whatever. The era when consumers believed that advances in aviation technology would soon have us all flying at supersonic (let alone hypersonic) speeds has long since passed. Modern aircraft may be more fuel efficient than 40 years ago, but they don't fly much faster.
Personally, rather than investing in hypersonic aircraft that most Americans will never fly, I'd rather see my tax dollars go into building a high-speed rail system. But maybe that's just me.