The X-51A Waverider affixed to an Edwards B-52H Stratofortress before the second flight test (Image: Boeing)
Final checks to the X-51A Waverider scramjet, which is affixed to an Edwards B-52H Stratofortress (Image: Boeing)
A B-52H Stratofortress taxis to the runway carrying the X-51A Waverider on its second flight test (Image: Boeing)
The second hypersonic test flight of Boeing's X-51A Waverider has ended prematurely with the craft failing to transition to full power. The X-51A Waverider broke the record for the longest ever supersonic combustion scramjet-powered flight on its first autonomous flight in May 2010, flying under scramjet power for just under three and a half minutes at a top speed of Mach 5. For the second hypersonic flight test, the craft was expected to accelerate to about Mach 6, but only managed to accelerate to Mach 5 under solid rocket booster propulsion before the flight had to be terminated.
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