Tuesday, August 21, 2012

X-51A Aircraft Test Flight Ends in Failure

Xnewsman sends in an article from the LA Times concerning the experimental hyper-sonic test bed X-51a, where the plane's most recent flight ended in failure.

According to the article:

  • The unmanned X-51A was launched over the Pacific Tuesday from above the Point Mugu Naval Air Test Range to fine-tune its hypersonic scramjet engine.
In this most recent test the plane was supposed to accelerate to mach 6 and fly for a five minute window.  However the "scram" engine never fired.   Fifteen seconds after it was released from its' cradle, under the wing of a B-52, a fault was discovered in the control surfaces that would prevent straight and level flight causing the craft to lose control.  

That leaves the X-51a fleet with only one remaining plane and officials doubt that it will fly anytime soon, if ever.  

Scientists on the project said that research into hypersonic flight is crucial to the next generation of missiles, military aircraft, spacecraft -- and even passenger planes.


kallamis said...

I say lets go over it again, and launch the last one. What the heck it's already built.
I have to admit though, I would have liked to have seen the crash. I'd have liked to see mach 6 a lot more, but we have to take what we can get.
And we were wondering where everyone was. I know now. It's that time of year, and i just went about 30 hours no sleep, but this time not gaming or reading. All good, but busy busy busy time of year. And in 3 days got done what should have taken about 3 weeks.
So I'm guessing I know where everyone is. It's that time of year again.

Beam Me Up said...

I get the impression that there wasn't much of a flight. The booster fired and released and 51a pounded it straight in.

aircraft avionics @ AvionTEq said...

I also get the same impression @ Beam Me Up. I’m not saying that there are false intentions about the X-51A aircraft; rather, I believe that further testing and maintenance should be done properly.

Beam Me Up said...

and you know Aircraft, there hasn't been a single word in the general press since that last test. Did they really mothball that project that quickly? Just exactly what the hell is going on!

Thanks for the reminder Aircraft.