Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Unmanned X-51A WaveRider speeds more than 3,000 mph above the Pacific Ocean

A lightning-quick experimental aircraft, an unmanned X-51A WaveRider made history when it sped more than 3,000 miles per hour above the Pacific Ocean. The successful mission will hopefully re-ignite a decades-long effort to develop a vehicle that could travel faster than a speeding bullet.

The X-51A lifted off from Edwards Air Force Base, slung under the wing of a B-52 bomber.

The X-51A lifted off from Edwards Air Force Base, slung under the wing of a B-52 bomber.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: X-51A WaveRider, mach speed, hypersonic, flight, speed of sound


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Resembling a shark-nosed missile, the craft was launched midair last week off the coast near Point Mugu. The WaveRider sped westward for 240 seconds, reaching Mach 5.1, or more than five times the speed of sound, before plunging into the ocean.

The X-51A lifted off from Edwards Air Force Base, slung under the wing of a B-52 bomber. At about 50,000 feet, it was released like a bomb and engaged a solid rocket booster that accelerated it to Mach 4.8 in about 26 seconds. After separating from the booster, the X-51A scramjet engine then lit and accelerated to Mach 5.1 at 60,000 feet.

"It was a full mission success," Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager for the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate, said in a statement. "I believe all we have learned from the X-51A WaveRider will serve as the bedrock for future hyper-sonics research and ultimately the practical application of hypersonic flight."

Built and tested in Southern California, the X-51A was powered by an air-breathing engine with virtually no moving parts. Flying longer than any other aircraft of its kind, the craft traveled more than 264 miles in little more than six minutes. Theoretically, a passenger aircraft traveling at that speed could fly from Los Angeles to New York in less than an hour.

Hypersonic flight refers to going five times the speed of sound or more. The Air Force has toyed with the notion of hypersonic technology since the 1960s. The theoretical technology can propel vehicles at speeds that cannot be achieved from traditional turbine-powered jet engines.

Previous attempts produced very limited results.

There are no plans to recover parts of the craft after it fell, as planned, into the Pacific Ocean. While designed to reach Mach 6, engineers said they were happy because the program objective was to prove the viability of air-breathing, high-speed scramjet propulsion.

The experiment was the last of four tests X-51A vehicles originally conceived when the $300 million technology demonstration program began in 2004. None of the other flights went the distance.

Aerospace engineers maintain that harnessing technology capable of sustaining hypersonic speeds is crucial to the next generation of missiles, military aircraft, spacecraft - and even passenger planes.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Technology

Astronomers discover a new 'Super Earth' proving the Kepler spacecraft still has the right stuff despite malfunction Watch

Image of Kepler has discovered hundreds of new planets, proving that planets are a normal part of stellar formation.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Kepler planet hunting probe has detected another Earth-like planet 180 light-years from the Sun. The planet is massive and hot and uninhabitable, but it demonstrates once again that scientists have the ability to detect these new worlds with increasing accuracy. ... continue reading


Anywhere in the world in four hours or less: Space plane receives approval from European Space Agency Watch

Image of Reaction Engines proclaim that the technology is the biggest step in air travel since the jet engine was invented.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A futuristic plane that could fly anyone anywhere in the world in four hours or less, as well as carry spaceships out of the atmosphere without using rockets, has come closer to reality. The European Space Agency has given approval to the Skylon plane this ... continue reading


BURP! There! Proof of life existing on the planet Mars Watch

Image of If the gas were coming from living microbes on Mars, the finding would mark one of the biggest discoveries in history.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Belches...and worse, could have just proven the evidence of life on Mars. NASA's Curiosity Rover has detected mysterious spikes of methane. These rude outbursts can't be explained away by geology or other theories. The rover has been on Mars since 2012. ... continue reading


Are you a receptionist, security guard or retail clerk? You could soon be replaced by a ROBOT Watch

Image of Royal Caribbean cruise lines have installed new bionic bars with machine robots that fix passengers their drinks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Automation works well if it spares humans from dangerous and monotonous tasks. While many have lost their line of work in assembly lines to nimble-fingered machines, the next wave of robotic replacement may soon well take the place of jobs requiring a more ... continue reading


Catch me if you can: A new device aims to catch wandering Alzheimer's patients and bring relief to caregivers Watch

Image of Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million people in the United States.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately five million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer's. 65 percent of those patients wander. They get up in the middle of the night and take off. Many times these patients get lost or injured. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenneth ... continue reading


Americans have a new champion for privacy -- Microsoft. Software giant squares off with Feds over private customer data held overseas Watch

Image of Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans concerned about their privacy have a new champion, and he comes from an unlikely stable - the ranks of Microsoft. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, is preparing to fight against the U.S. government as they demand Microsoft hand over private, encrypted ... continue reading


Scientists believe they've found first physical evidence of mysterious 'Dark Matter' Watch

Image of After the spectrum from the Perseus cluster and Andromeda were analyzed, scientists saw spikes where nothing should exist.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Scientists came up with the concept of "Dark Matter," an elusive physical property more than 70 years ago. After years of searching, scientists have now uncovered evidence that Dark Matter may in fact exist - in an area where it should theoretically exist. LOS ... continue reading


The death of political ads on TV approaches as more people turn to the internet for media Watch

Image of The political TV ad is dying as more people move online for their media.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're planning to go into politics, don't ignore the internet and what an incredibly powerful tool it is. The internet is not only essential, it is a crucial multiplier of force, allowing a candidate to maximize limited financial resources. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Water DID NOT come to Earth from comets, Rosetta probe concludes Watch

Image of The heretofore unprecedented close-up look at a comet is helping scientists answer the fundamental question of whether a bombardment of these primitive bodies brought water to Earth billions of years ago.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Europe's Rosetta mission, which made history by landing on Comet 67P last month, has come up with a controversial finding that is currently being debated by scientists. According to the Rosetta's latest findings, water did not come to the Earth from comets. LOS ... continue reading


Mars rover uncovers astonishing evidence of water, life on Mars Watch

Image of The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars. Scientists have reached the conclusion that at least some of the planet must ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter