Hypersonic X-51A WaveRider Aircraft Test Flight Set for Today
August 14, 2012 8:48 AM
comment(s) - last by
Scram before I murderize you!
Scientist and researchers have been putting significant effort into future aircraft capable traveling at hypersonic speeds. One such aircraft that's been testing is the X-51A WaveRider, which is designed to fly at 3,600 mph. At that speed, a passenger aircraft would be able to travel from Los Angeles to New York in only 46 minutes.
Engineers at Edwards Air Force Base in California were putting the finishing touches on the WaveRider yesterday and the test flight is expected to be conducted over the Pacific today. The aircraft will be attached to the bottom of a B-52 bomber's wing. The WaveRider will be carried to an altitude of 50,000 feet over the Pacific near Point Mugu. The aircraft will then drop from the wing and begin its high-speed test flight.
The X-51A WaveRider will reach Mach 6 and will attempt to maintain that speed for 5 minutes. Engineers on the project say that this test flight is important for all types of aviation including military and commercial. The technology could also be adapted to superfast missiles and spacecraft.
"Attaining sustained hypersonic flight is like going from propeller-driven aircraft to jet aircraft," said Robert Mercier, deputy for technology in the high-speed systems division at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio.
"Since the Wright brothers, we have examined how to make aircraft better and faster. Hypersonic flight is one of those areas that is a potential frontier for aeronautics. I believe we're standing in the door waiting to go into that arena."
NASA and the Pentagon are currently financing three different centers around the country to study hypersonic flight. The programs are being administered by DARPA, and the agency calls hypersonic flight "the new stealth." The Pentagon believes that the best way to hit targets around the globe in an hour or less is with a hypersonic missile.
WaveRider had a successful maiden test flight in May 2010 when it was able to travel 3,500 mph for 143 seconds before crashing into the ocean as planned. However, DARPA has had
with its even faster hypersonic aircraft, the Mach 20 HTV-2.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Hoping for onboard video
8/14/2012 1:37:01 PM
91TTZ is right. A ramjet cannot create propulstion from a stand still (at any atmospheric pressure) and requires a great deal of forward motion to work, generally Mach 3 is a safe starting point.
Even the shuttle craft (B2) won't get it beyond 600mph, so the X-51 is unique in that is has a hybrid rocket/scramjet package. I think the wild ride comment is accurate. Being jettisoned from a B2 up to mach 4.5 only to have yet another stage fire is probably similar to what astronauts experience during multi-stage rocket launches.
"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
Second Flop: DARPA Loses Contact With HTV-2
August 11, 2011, 5:30 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Fraud Artist Engineered Stunning UK Jailbreak Via Typosquatting, Email
April 4, 2015, 2:57 PM
Most Popular Articles
America's Largest Cable Company, Comcast, Sees Internet Subscriptions Pass TV
May 4, 2015, 2:46 PM
Hot Microsoft Lumia 940 Shows Off Benchmark, Fall Launch w/ Windows 10 Eyed
May 29, 2015, 7:15 PM
Editorial: Apple Say Watch is "Not [Selling] Enough" -- What's Gone Wrong?
May 29, 2015, 11:11 AM
Study Shows Prior Owner's Data is Easy to Recover From Used Android Phones
May 26, 2015, 9:54 PM
Samsung and Marvel Team Up for Slick Iron Man Avengers GS6 Edge
May 27, 2015, 10:54 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information