Hypersonic Weapon Trials



X-51A, Pentagon, high-speed warfare, Air Force B-52 bomber, Dr. Mark Lewis, Edwards, California, U.S. military, futuristic aircrafts
Striving for finding a method to strike targets thousands of miles away within some minutes, the U.S. military has been mastering vigorously the aeronautical engineering, materials science and hydraulic gas dynamics over these years. It is now testing a hypersonic weapon, X-51A — a cruise missile than can travel seven or eight times faster than any tool available at today’s American arsenal. The Pentagon scheduled an Air Force B-52 bomber to take off from Edwards Air Force Base in California on Tuesday. Hosting the closest  thing to a hypersonic missile  in the world under its wing, the plane will glide over the Pacific Ocean, go up to 50,000 feet, and then release the 26-foot-long experimental missile. If the military’s flight test proves to be a success, the missile will speed up past Mach 5, rush more than 300 miles in less than five minutes and thus will turn into a new high-speed warfare. (Video of its first flight test in 2010 is below.) The Air Force is currently working on a follow-on project, the “High Speed Strike Weapon”,  aiming to transform something like the X-51A from an expensive experiment into a practical high-speed weapons of war. Dr. Mark Lewis, the former chief scientist of the Air Force and one of the world’s leading authorities on hypersonic flight reports: “The important thing in this test is that the supersonic combustion ramjet engine runs for hundreds of seconds.”
Via:wired.com

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