X-51A Waverider: Scramjet Engine Test Results

The U.S. Air Force has been testing its X-51A Waverider, which has an experimental scramjet engine. In the first test the craft managed to reach Mach 5, but in another report the Air Force reckons that the craft reached a top speed of mach 6, that’s 6 times the speed of sound.

The flight of the X-51A Waverider lasted just 200 seconds, this is a new record set by a fully automated aircraft using a Scramjet engine – the previous record was held by NASA’s X-43A. The craft only used its Scremjet engine for 10 to 12 seconds, but it did reach a speed of Mach 9.8 – so the X-51A Waverider has a way to go yet.

The U.S. Air Force had hoped that its craft would burn its engine for 300 seconds and hit mach 6, but it lost acceleration all of a sudden – although Boeing said that the flight had been terminated as planned.

Those who took part in these tests were thrilled by the result, that’s according to a report Cnet News. View their website for the full details.



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