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Aircraft sets hypersonic record at six times


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
An aircraft has set a record for hypersonic flight by flying more than three minutes at Mach 6 – six times the speed of sound.

The X-51A Waverider was released from a B-52 Stratofortress off the southern California coast and its scramjet engine accelerated the aircraft to Mach 6, and it flew autonomously for 200 seconds before losing acceleration.At that point the test was terminated.

The Air Force said the previous record for a hypersonic flight was 12 seconds.

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  • Legatus Legionis

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Now thats moving along, Awsome,

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Holy cow that's getting close to 7000 mph wow...

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Holy cow that's getting close to 7000 mph wow...

Actually, Mach 6 is between 4,000 and 5,000 mph (6,400 to 8,000 km/h).

Speed of sound @ Sea Level: 761 mph / 1225 km/h

Speed of sound @ 11,000 - 20,000 meters altitude (airliner cruising altitude) 660 mph / 1062 km/h

*source

Also, according to this press release from Boeing, the X-51 achieved Mach 5:

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., May 26, 2010 -- In its first flight attempt, the Boeing [NYSE: BA] X-51A WaveRider today successfully completed the longest supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight in history -- nearly three and a half minutes at a top speed of Mach 5.

...

The X-51A was carried aloft under the left wing of an Air Force Flight Test Center B-52H Stratofortress that took off from Edwards Air Force Base. It was released while flying at approximately 50,000 feet over the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range. Four seconds later, a solid rocket booster from a U.S. Army tactical missile accelerated the X-51A to about Mach 4.5 before it and a connecting interstage were jettisoned. The X-51A's engine ignited on a mix of ethylene and JP-7 jet fuel. After a short period, the X-51A ran exclusively on JP-7 jet fuel. The flight reached an altitude of about 70,000 feet and an approximate speed of Mach 5.

Cz

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It's good to know that we are nearing full commercial use at hypersonic speed. (close probably a decade of more)

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Actually, Mach 6 is between 4,000 and 5,000 mph (6,400 to 8,000 km/h).

Speed of sound @ Sea Level: 761 mph / 1225 km/h

Speed of sound @ 11,000 - 20,000 meters altitude (airliner cruising altitude) 660 mph / 1062 km/h

*source

Also, according to this press release from Boeing, the X-51 achieved Mach 5:

Cz

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when an object is moving that fast,i don't need to tell you that kinetic heat is enormous

how is nasa going to try to overcome this problem, titatanium and kevlar composites probbaly

will not work beyond mach 7 or 8

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It's still a combustible engine.... Nothing special at all here.

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was there a pilot or was this a unmanned test?

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was there a pilot or was this a unmanned test?

This has to be unmanned, people just can't ride on it just yet. :su

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was there a pilot or was this a unmanned test?

Most Likely unmanned, we still yet to discover the counter for G-forces.

EDIT: From what I have researched though, X-15 was piloted. (not the X-15A that was mentioned in the article.)

Edited by Legatus Legionis
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Most Likely unmanned, we still yet to discover the counter for G-forces.

EDIT: From what I have researched though, X-15 was piloted. (not the X-15A that was mentioned in the article.)

The X-15 (pictured below) was a rocket-powered test vehicle that flew in the 1960's.

800px-North_American_X-15A-2_USAF.jpg

In October 1967, Pete Knight flew it up to 4,519 mph (7,273 km/h). Several pilots actually qualified as astronauts piloting the X-15 as it was able to reach altitudes of over 50 miles. In August 1963, Joe Walker flew the X-15 to an altitude of 67 miles (107.8 km). That flight held the world altitude record for over40 years until Scaled Composite's "Spaceship One" flew to 69.6 miles (112 km) on October 4, 2004.

The X-51A (pictured below) is an unmanned scramjet demonstration vehicle and as cen be seen in the image below, is far to small to have been piloted.

800px-X-51A_Waverider_on_B-52_2009.jpg

Since the X-51 is a vehicle to test and develop the scramjet, the chances of it ever being a piloted vehicle is practically zero. It i far more likely that the data from these test flights will be used in designing future vehicles utilizing scramjets for propulsion. Given that the X-15 regularly was piloted at speeds between Mach 4 and Mach 6, I don't think dealing with the G-forces would be too much of an issue for the X-51 (if by some odd chance they decided to design, build and test fly a full-scale piloted version). Getting the scramjet to run reliably and efficiently, however, is another story.

Cz

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The X-15 (pictured below) was a rocket-powered test vehicle that flew in the 1960's.

800px-North_American_X-15A-2_USAF.jpg

In October 1967, Pete Knight flew it up to 4,519 mph (7,273 km/h). Several pilots actually qualified as astronauts piloting the X-15 as it was able to reach altitudes of over 50 miles. In August 1963, Joe Walker flew the X-15 to an altitude of 67 miles (107.8 km). That flight held the world altitude record for over40 years until Scaled Composite's "Spaceship One" flew to 69.6 miles (112 km) on October 4, 2004.

The X-51A (pictured below) is an unmanned scramjet demonstration vehicle and as cen be seen in the image below, is far to small to have been piloted.

800px-X-51A_Waverider_on_B-52_2009.jpg

Since the X-51 is a vehicle to test and develop the scramjet, the chances of it ever being a piloted vehicle is practically zero. It i far more likely that the data from these test flights will be used in designing future vehicles utilizing scramjets for propulsion. Given that the X-15 regularly was piloted at speeds between Mach 4 and Mach 6, I don't think dealing with the G-forces would be too much of an issue for the X-51 (if by some odd chance they decided to design, build and test fly a full-scale piloted version). Getting the scramjet to run reliably and efficiently, however, is another story.

Cz

Thanks for confirming it. :) ScramJet, will they be able to develop technologies to counter the effects of going from point a to point b in Hypersonic speed.

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