U.S. MILITARY PLANS NEXT FLIGHT TEST OF HYPERSONIC X-51A WAVE RIDER

Fox News on October 25, 2012, published an AP report on the U.S. military saying it is planning another unmanned hypersonic flight … Excerpts below:

The flight, scheduled for next spring or summer, would be the fourth test of the experimental X-51A Waverider designed to reach Mach 6, or 3,600 mph, after being dropped by a B-52 bomber.

The Air Force has been studying hypersonic technologies with the hopes of deploying fast strikes around the globe.

None of [earlier] flights so far has reached the intended goal of six times the speed of sound. During the first flight in 2010, an X-51A flew near Mach 5 for three minutes. A test flight last year ended prematurely with an X-51A unsuccessfully trying to restart its engine.

Brink said he expected the military to continue hypersonic flight research after next year’s final flight but did not get into specifics.

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