X-51A Waverider on a B-52 Wing

US Air Force and Boeing researchers on 26 May took a leap towards harnessing hypersonic vehicles for space access or weapons applications with the longest-ever supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight, off the southern California Pacific coast.

The Boeing Phantom Works-built X-51A Waverider achieved 140s burn of its Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne-built air breathing scramjet engine and accelerated to 70,000ft (21,350m) and Mach 5 before controllers at the Point Mugu naval air warfare centre sea range terminated the mission because of a loss of telemetry. Continue reading and watch a video…

Here’s the X-51A Waverider on the B-52′s wing:

X-51A Waverider.jpg(Photo: USAF/Mike Cassidy)


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