X-51A Settling Old Records
On May 5, 2013, the X-51A experimental unmanned aircraft beat its top speed of Mach 5 and longest flight attempt on its fourth test.
The X-51A WaveRider, manufactured by Boeing and financed by the US Department of Defense and NASA, achieved the longest flight of 300 seconds at a record speed of Mach 5.1 with the Hypersonic Scramjet.
The Waverider was ejected from a B-52H Stratofortress in California over the Edwards Air Force base. The X-51A managed to fly for 3 1/2 minutes at a speed of Mach 5.1.
After the X-51A reached its maximum speed and flight time, it ran out of fuel and was controlled driven into a safe area in the Atlantic sea.
The WaveRider X-51 Previous Attempts
The WaveRider X-51 made its first test on the 26th of May 2010, reaching speeds of Mach 5, and a flight time of 200 seconds.
The second test took flight on the 13th of June 2011, the operation was cancelled due to technical issues.
And the third test on the 14th of August 2012, crashed and spiralled into the Southern California coast, due to aerodynamic control problems.
Fourth & final test 1ST of May 2013, Success!
X51-A, Surfing its Shockwave
Engineers nicknamed the X-51A the “WaveRider” because once the X-51A reached a certain hypersonic speed it would absorb its own shockwaves and surf on them giving it a massive boost.
This scramjet-powered, air-breathing Hypersonic flight experiments, has opened new gateways taking us to next frontier of the aeronautical world.
The United States Air Force (USAF) plan to use the X51-A technology for High Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) in an effort to achieve Prompt Global Strike capability by the mid 2020s.
Imagine the advantage when you have the ability to deliver supplies and missiles across the Atlantic under one hour, “CHILLING” that’s nearly as long as it takes me to wake up on a Sunday morning.