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Science & Technology

Aircraft sets hypersonic record at Mach 6

By T.K. Randall
May 28, 2010 · Comment icon 14 comments



Image Credit: USAF
The X-51A Waverider has set a new hypersonic flight time record at six times the speed of sound.
The scramjet flew at Mach 6 for over three minutes, completely annihilating the previous record of 12 seconds. Program manager Charlie Brink stated "We equate this leap in engine technology as equivalent to the post-World War II jump from propeller-driven aircraft to jet engines."
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.


Source: Telegraph | Comments (14)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by blackbird1965 13 years ago
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
Comment icon #6 Posted by blackbird1965 13 years ago
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
Comment icon #7 Posted by -MiDAS- 13 years ago
It's still a combustible engine.... Nothing special at all here.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Tom Sawyer 13 years ago
was there a pilot or was this a unmanned test?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Father Of Evolution 13 years ago
was there a pilot or was this a unmanned test? This has to be unmanned, people just can't ride on it just yet.
Comment icon #10 Posted by icet925 13 years ago
Now thats amazing, fly across the Pacific Ocean in an hour.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Legatus Legionis 13 years ago
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.)
Comment icon #12 Posted by Czero 101 13 years ago
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. 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 ... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Legatus Legionis 13 years ago
The X-15 (pictured below) was a rocket-powered test vehicle that flew in the 1960's. 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 im... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by SerjTank 13 years ago
o.o Wow.


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