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Air Force X-51A Test Failed  
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5822 posts, RR: 3
Posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8154 times:


The article is not exceptionally clear. Did they make Mach 6, and lose the fin during acceleration, or were they in the process of boosting to Mach 6. They menion later in the article that the Scramjet itself was never activated?

Anyone with more info.

Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently onlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 3390 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8017 times:

Apparently it didn't get a chance. A tweet from Wired mag:

"At 9:35 EDT Wired's defense vertical Danger Room tweeted:
Bad news for the USAF's mach 5 missile. X-51A failed its flight test; a fin problem caused a loss of control b4 the engine could kick in."

The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineDrStrange From Germany, joined Jul 2007, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7790 times:

Interestingly enough the story was pretty big in the German media. I found it in a couple of papers/magazines.
The fin problem apparently started 16 seconds after the launch from the B52. The article mentions that control was lost another 15s after that when discarding the rocket engine.

I included the article from Der Spiegel(no English though), because there are some nice pictures of the X-51A.
Just click on the picture where it says "Fotos" and keep on clicking on the picture to advance the gallery.  

User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 791 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7542 times:


Made prime time evening news in France...

User currently offlineMadameConcorde From Monaco, joined Feb 2007, 11332 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7541 times:

Quoting DrStrange (Reply 2):
Interestingly enough the story was pretty big in the German media.

Germany had a project for about the same thing in the '30s during the Third Reich:
the SilberVogel

Silbervogel, German for silver bird, was a design for a rocket-powered sub-orbital bomber aircraft produced by Eugen Sänger and Irene Bredt in the late 1930s for The Third Reich/Nazi Germany.

and it came to the...

Sanger II Space Plane
On 18 October 1985 Messerschmidt-Boelkow-Bloehm (MBB) began renewed studies of the Sänger spaceplane, this time a "piggyback" two-stage-to-orbit horizontal takeoff concept.[6]


so this US Air Force hypersonic rocket is nothing new.


and then there was this DARPA thing that they said had reached Mach20

Superfast Military Aircraft Hit Mach 20 Before Ocean Crash, DARPA Says
SPACE.com Staff
Date: 18 August 2011 Time: 10:34 AM ET

A superfast unmanned military plane traveled at 20 times the speed of sound and managed to control itself for three minutes before crashing into the Pacific Ocean in a recent test, military officials said.


While the X-51A Waverider is designed to fly only at six times the speed of sound.

 Wow!    Wow!

There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 9181 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7448 times:

Do any of these hypersonic planes land in one piece.

User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7420 times:

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 5):
Do any of these hypersonic planes land in one piece.

No landing gear. These are proof of concept a/c in terms of propulsion and configuration.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2028 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 7366 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
so this US Air Force hypersonic rocket is nothing new.

I don't understand. Neither of the things you posted about was ever built. And the one concieved in the 40's was only about half as fast.

It's pretty much like if someone suggested Concorde was nothing new because we already have planes that fly at 40,000 ft at mach 0.8.

User currently offlineGAIsweetGAI From Norway, joined Jul 2006, 938 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7018 times:

The real novelty here is the ramjet propulsion system:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):

was rocket-powered, from the Wikipedia article;

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
and then there was this DARPA thing that they said had reached Mach20

which was achieved by diving vertically from the edge of the atmosphere, IIRC.

If any previous projects come close to the X-51, it's these two:

And they weren't ecxactly hypersonic...

"There is an art, or rather a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."
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