Experimental plane goes five times speed of sound

The X-51A WaveRider, an unmanned aircraft that could reach speeds up to 3,600 mph. Credit: REUTERS/US Air Force/Handout

The US Air Force said on Friday that its experimental, unmanned aircraft X-51A Waverider went hypersonic during a test off the Southern California coast, travelling at more than 3,000 mph.

The Air Force has spent $300 million studying scramjet technology that it hopes can be used to deliver strikes around the globe within minutes.