On the On-Set of Hypersonics

Almost everyone has their own definition of the term hypersonic. If we were to conduct something like a public opinion poll among those present, and asked everyone to name a Mach number above which the flow of a gas should properly be described as hypersonic there would be a majority of answers round about 5 or 6, but it would be quite possible for someone to advocate, and defend, numbers as small as 3, or as high as 12.

Philip Roe, verbal comment at von Karman Institute, 1970.