X-51A WaveRider Test Flight Set For Next Week | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

AMA Drone Report

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday

Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne On ANN

ADR 02.13.17

Airborne 02.13.17

Airborne 02.14.17

Airborne 02.15.17

Airborne 02.16.17

Airborne 02.17.17

Airborne-HD On YouTube

ADR 02.13.17

Airborne 02.13.17

Airborne 02.14.17

Airborne 02.15.17

Airborne 02.16.17

Airborne 02.17.17

Fri, May 21, 2010

X-51A WaveRider Test Flight Set For Next Week

Only Hypersonic Test Flight Planned For This Fiscal Year

The X-51A WaveRider will make its first hypersonic flight test attempt from Edwards Air Force Base on Tuesday, May 25. The unmanned aerial vehicle will be released from a B-52 bomber off the southern California coast.

The X-51A is expected to fly autonomously for five minutes -- powered by a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) motor -- accelerate to about Mach 6 and transmit large amounts of data to ground stations before it splashes down into the Pacific and breaks up, as planned. There are no plans to recover the flight test vehicle, one of four built.

"In those 300 seconds, we hope to learn more about hypersonic flight with a practical scramjet engine than all previous flight tests combined," said Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Propulsion Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The longest previous hypersonic scramjet flight test, performed by a NASA X-43 in 2004, was faster, but lasted only about 10 seconds and used less logistically supportable hydrogen fuel.

The X-51A program is a collaborative effort of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, with industry partners The Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

The May 25 attempt will be the only hypersonic flight attempt this fiscal year, a change from the original test plan, which was to fly once in December 2009 and three more times in 2010. A combination of factors, including high demand for flight-test and range assets such as the B-52, contributed to the pause.

"This is an experimental X-plane and it's a complicated test. We knew the original schedule was aggressive and we would need to be flexible," said Brink. "It's also expensive to keep a staff of engineers and support staff at the ready and then not be able to fly when supporting assets aren’t available. So we elected to make only one hypersonic try this spring and then pause for a few months to conserve funding."

Alex Lopez, Boeing vice president of Advanced Network & Space Systems, said the X-51A program will pave the way to hypersonic weapons and future access to space.

FMI: www.af.mil, www.boeing.com

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 02.17.17: Privatization Fight Is ON, X-37B Stays Up, TSA Arrests

Also: HeliTrak PMA, Aviation’s Next Big Fight, New KC Airport, Verifly, CFM Orders, Purdue Aviation, P&W Expansion Some of the aviation industry’s worst fears appea>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (02.19.17)

Aero-News Quote of the Day "Although our navigation algorithms can get even better, and we need to test them in many other parts of the world, this is a positive sign for Loon&rsqu>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.19.17): Takeoff Hold Lights (THL)

Takeoff Hold Lights (THL) The THL system is composed of in-pavement lighting in a double, longitudinal row of lights aligned either side of the runway centerline. The lights are fo>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.19.17)

Aero Linx: Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) MARPA is the non-profit trade association that represents the Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) community. A PMA i>[...]

ANN FAQ: What Does The Airborne Partnership Initiative Mean For Your Business

Get Your Breaking News Out To The Industry A partnership between ANN and others in the aviation/aerospace industry offers more exposure, a greatly lessened strain on individual res>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC