Waverider Breaks Apart About A Half-Minute Into Test Flight | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 12.19.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 12.19.14 **
** Airborne 12.17.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 12.17.14 **
** Airborne 12.15.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 12.15.14 **

Thu, Aug 16, 2012

Waverider Breaks Apart About A Half-Minute Into Test Flight

USAF Officials Point To A Faulty Control Fin On The Aircraft

The X-51 Waverider hypersonic aircraft failed fairly spectacularly during a test flight Tuesday. The experimental unmanned aircraft reportedly broke apart over the Pacific ocean just 31 seconds after it launched from the wing of a B-52.

Reuters reports that, according to a statement released by the Air Force, a problem was detected with one of the aircraft's control fins about 16 seconds after its rocket motor ignited. When the rocket separated from the aircraft so that the scramjet could boost it to hypersonic speeds, the fin failed, and control was lost. The Waverider went down in the Pacific Ocean near Point Magu northwest of Los Angeles, according to Daryl Mayer, a spokesman for the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

The Air Force had hoped for a flight duration of five minutes, but only got 31 seconds, and only about half of that in controlled flight. It initially stayed on course using the fins on the rocket motor, but when those separated from the rest of the aircraft, control was lost, the Air Force said. The flight plan called for the aircraft to go down in the ocean, and it is considered unrecoverable.

This was the third test flight of the X-51. There is one more of the hypersonic experimental aircraft in the Air Force inventory. The aircraft in the previous test flew at speeds up to Mach 5 for three minutes before it went down in the ocean, which was the planned end to the flight profile. The Air Force is continuing to analyze the data from Tuesday's flight, and has not made a determination whether it will attempt to fly the fourth aircraft.

(Image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)

FMI: www.af.mil

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 12.19.14: Falcon 8X Unveiled, Sportys 172LITE, Bizarre CA AvGas Lawsuit

Also: ANN/Airborne's Crystal Ball, Lear70/75 Mexico Cert, Carnegie Mellon's Lunar Rover, Dragon Delays Dassault Aviation rolled back the curtains earlier this week on the ultra-lon>[...]

Airborne 12.19.14: Falcon 8X Unveiled, Sportys 172LITE, Bizarre CA AvGas Lawsuit

Also: ANN/Airborne's Crystal Ball, Lear70/75 Mexico Cert, Carnegie Mellon's Lunar Rover, Dragon Delays Dassault Aviation rolled back the curtains earlier this week on the ultra-lon>[...]

Aero-TV: Redbird's Roger Sharp -- Pushing The Aero-Educational Envelope

One of The Most Important Aspects of GA is Flight Training... But Is The Industry Keeping Up With The Times? While at the Redbird Migration 2014, ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim C>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (12.20.14)

University Aviation Association We often report about aviation educational opportunities and programs here at ANN. The logic being that young people getting interested in the indus>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (12.20.14): Hot Start

In gas turbine engines, a start which occurs with normal engine rotation, but exhaust temperature exceeds prescribed limits.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC