US Air Force To Test Hypersonic Plane tonight

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by cavemandave, Aug 14, 2012.

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  1. US Air Force To Test Hypersonic Plane
    Engineers hope an experimental aircraft will fly at Mach 6 - six times the speed of sound - when they test it tonight.

    The US Air Force is planning a key test of an experimental aircraft designed to fly at six times the speed of sound - about 3,600mph.

    The unmanned X-51 WaveRider will be dropped from a B-52 bomber and then take a short flight off the Californian coast.

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the unmanned X-51 WaveRider is expected to reach Mach 6.

    Engineers hope the aircraft sustains its top speed for 300 seconds during the test flight, which will be twice as long as it's gone before.

    The aircraft is intended to eventually allow the Pentagon to deliver air strikes around the globe within minutes.

    In its most recent test last year, the Boeing-designed X-51 fell for about four seconds.

    The craft's booster rocket then ignited, but the aircraft failed to separate from the rocket and plunged into the ocean.
    US Air Force To Test Hypersonic Plane
  2. I wonder what the fuel economy is like?
  3. Is this the cruise missile of the future or just a hyper speed, ram jet test platform? I would be interested in any serious comment.


    Boeing: X-51 WaveRider
  4. Done yesterday.
  5. Passenger jet, flies so fast we dont need stewards....sorry ^
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Don't tell that Ryan chap, he'll be first in the queue for one......
  7. The test was a complete failure.
  8. No test is a failure if it's done properly.

    You might not get the result you were looking for but it's still all useful information, if everything worked first time you wouldnt need to run tests.
  9. Did it crash?

  10. Well in this case, it would appear failed to deploy at all so...
  11. Nothing firm but the short version from what little is available is, yes. Or just fell into the sea if you believe some of what the nerds are saying.
  12. Either has the potential for a sub-orbital parabola meaning you can twat anywhere on the face of the planet, neatly avoiding pesky things like air defence.
  13. Just like an ICBM then. But much more expensive. Yeah, they'll queuing up for those.
  14. You neatly avoid things like launch signatures, ICBM's are not very stealthish - or reusable.

    Run along now herbert.
  15. Wasn't that the previous attempt last year? On that occasion the test vehicle failed to seperate from it's booster and was dumped into the sea by the range safety officer.