Scramjet Launch

X-51 Scramjet Will Launch Later This Month.

New Scientist (5/7, Courtland) reported, “In the last week of May, thousands of square miles of airspace above the Pacific Ocean will be cleared to make way for a skinny, shark-nosed aircraft called the X-51.” The scramjet will be dropped from a jet, where it will attempt to maintain hypersonic speeds for minutes. Boeing X-51 Program Manager Joe Vogel said, “No one has successfully flown a vehicle of this nature for more than a few seconds.” NASA’s X-43 was “the last US hypersonic scramjet to fly successfully…managing only 10 seconds of powered flight. Unlike its predecessor, the X-51’s engine uses novel active cooling systems and uses standard jet fuel.”

Reposted from the May 7, 2010 ASEE First Bell

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