BEIJING and LOS ANGELES—China’s success in flying a scramjet-powered hypersonic aircraft—trailing the U.S. by no more than about two years—reveals that its engineers have overcome the severe cooling problems mentioned five years ago. The successful test, announced last month, followed the January 2014 flight of a Chinese hypersonic glider. The engine of the aircraft—which must have been unmanned and was probably quite small—is the world’s first ...

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