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New X-Plane Coming: Introducing the X-51A

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posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 09:33 PM
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In an effort to further develop hypersonic technologies for future spacecraft and aircraft, a series of planes flying under the designation of X-51A will be flight tested in 2009 at Edwards AFB.

The exact number of aircraft has not been determined, but will include at least five, they will be powered by Pratt & Whitney's dual mode scramjet and the airframe is to be built by Boeing.

Data from these flights will be used in both airbreathing hypersonic cruise-missile technology and the global strike aircraft initiative.

The program manager for the X-51 is Charles Brink, from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB.



Source: Air Force to Test Ultra-FAST Planes




[edit on 1-1-2006 by intelgurl]




posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 10:31 PM
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Fing rad!


It's so wierd to think that 2009 is only 3 years from now. I'm hoping they can get these dual mode scram jets mature enough to the point where we can start apllying them to service aircraft in the short term future,


jra

posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 10:32 PM
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Great news, thanks for sharring.


Originally posted by intelgurl
Data from these flights will be used in both airbreathing hypersonic cruise-missile technology and the global strike aircraft initiative.


Wouldn't NASA also be able to use this technology for future space craft? Obviously it won't work while in space, being a lack of air and all, but would it help for launching a shuttle? Would there even be any benefits? It sounds like there could be, but I don't really know.



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 12:43 AM
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is there any more pictures of this plane?



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 06:17 AM
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Does the need for these test vehicles (which wont be cheap) tell us that the 'Aurora' doesn't exist, or at least in the form many of us expect it to? It does seem very similar to what we expected Aurora to be.

It also calls into doubt that oft cited rallying call to the tune of 'what super secret planes does the US already have in service?' that always makes me laugh when used in conjunction with such as the Raptor and F-35, rather than small scale spy planes where it might actually be true


Thanks for the news and the image intelgurl; most interesting, do I see the roots of the X-43 in this design?


[edit on 2-1-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 08:03 AM
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I've been wondering the same waynos. Usally a nation does develop some technology hide from it own public but they also have projects like the X-planes which help show that they are actually doing something and that money just doesn't disapear. As for spying with planes like "aurora" I think that people have been jumping the gun sorta speak. its easy to start thinking that the B-2 has anit grav tech sometimes. Personaly i think that another option is that the forces use current tech to its max in other platforms that aren't publized just yet but its not a crazy hypersonic bomber that sitting in a hanger laughing as we try to develop the same tech that it already uses. If anything I'd be pissed if i lived in the US and I found out people where wasteing my money or pointless research.



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 12:49 PM
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Does this plane have anything to do with that plane... It is also apaprently called X-51... is this the same plane...?? Found it here

external image

[edit on 2-1-2006 by Figher Master FIN]

Mod Edit: Image Size – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 3/1/2006 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 01:02 PM
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Is this plane the next gen of the X-43A project?

Would it be a private research (Boeing and P&W) or would nasa also be involved?

I also have another question. For example all the X-43 Data, does NAsa share everythimg with the private contractor or do they have to pay for ot or develop some of by their own?


jra

posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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It said right on that page.


This is an entirely fictitious aircraft, and should not be confused with an actual X-Plane.


This is just something that some guy made up and called it the X-51 because it was un-assigned to any aircraft at the time, but now it is assigned to an aircraft. Also from that page, it said that jet goes at about mach 3 in the flight sim. The real X-51 is supposed go twice that speed.



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 01:22 PM
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Same as jra said.

Come on FIN, you are cleverer than to believe computer game planes are real, I'm sure.



Thought relating to Intelgurls post; Given that X-plane designation are never arbitrarily given a sub-letter why is it specifically called the X-51A?

After all there was no X-29A, only X-29. no X-31A, only X-31, the 'A' is almost always mentioned in written sources but never appears on the aircraft themselves, unlike the others I mention where this designation letter DOES appear.

This indicates either alternative variants (ie X-32A, X-32B), a redesign of a previous model (ie X-1 followed by X-1A, X-24 to X-24A etc) or a cover up of a totally different secret plane (ie XP-59 and XP-59A).

So which is it?

[edit on 2-1-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
Does the need for these test vehicles (which wont be cheap) tell us that the 'Aurora' doesn't exist, or at least in the form many of us expect it to? It does seem very similar to what we expected Aurora to be.

It also calls into doubt that oft cited rallying call to the tune of 'what super secret planes does the US already have in service?' that always makes me laugh when used in conjunction with such as the Raptor and F-35, rather than small scale spy planes where it might actually be true

[edit on 2-1-2006 by waynos]


I don't see how one would be related to the other, even assuming the Aurora does exist.

Technology and information like this would be highly compartmentalized. People at NASA would be on the often reffered to "need to know" basis. How many of them would "need to know"? Not many in my estimation. I mean, how many people at NASA knew about the F-117? Or the SR-71?

All this tells us is that this technology is mature enough in the 'white' world that it is apropriate to test. Again, I would reffer to the F-117 as an example. It was in service while the ATB was in developement. Just because the B-2 was in the 'white world' (as far as it's admited goal of stealth) didn't mean that stealth aircraft didn't already exist.

IMHO, this shouldn't lead one to think either way about an Aurora type of aircraft. One simply would have little or no relation to the other.



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by jra
Wouldn't NASA also be able to use this technology for future space craft? Obviously it won't work while in space, being a lack of air and all, but would it help for launching a shuttle? Would there even be any benefits? It sounds like there could be, but I don't really know.


No there won't really be any benifit in using this to help get a space craft to orbit, you'd be better off with a rocket. Plus the Space Shuttle is retireing in 2010 anyway.



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 02:57 PM
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AMM, my thinking here is that if this technology was already mature enough that Aurora has been using it for 20 ish years, why would vast amounts be spent on the X-51? It would be a waste of time and money.

NASA doesn't make these things by itself on a whim, they are complex programmes involving defence contractors, if the tech already existed in serviceable form there would be no X-51 to prove and develop it, the money would be spent elsewhere.

There was no NASA stealth programme mimicking the F-117 in the 'white world' was there.

[edit on 2-1-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
AMM, my thinking here is that if this technology was already mature enough that Aurora has been using it for 20 ish years, why would vast amounts be spent on the X-51? It would be a waste of time and money.

NASA doesn't make these things by itself on a whim, they are complex programmes involving defence contractors, if the tech already existed in serviceable form there would be no X-51 to prove and develop it, the money would be spent elsewhere.

There was no NASA stealth programme mimicking the F-117 in the 'white world' was there.

[edit on 2-1-2006 by waynos]


While I see your point, compartmentalizing by it's nature requires the unknown overlapping of programs and funding.

For instance, (again, assuming it exists) if the Aurora was a DoD black project and produced by Lockheed, then there is absolutely no way to just "transfer" the technology to NASA and P&W without them wondering 'where did this come from?'

It is common in US military programs for one group of scientists or a company to litterally have to start from scratch and learn everything for them selves in order to keep something black. Off the top of my head, I believe the same thing occured with the ATB project and Have Blue - all of the information was not allowed to be transfered because the F-117 was still black.



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
It is common in US military programs for one group of scientists or a company to litterally have to start from scratch and learn everything for them selves in order to keep something black.


I must agree with American Mad Man concerning redundant technological development in "black" aerospace projects. I believe this is the norm, not the exception.


Originally posted by waynos
AMM, my thinking here is that if this technology was already mature enough that Aurora has been using it for 20 ish years, why would vast amounts be spent on the X-51? It would be a waste of time and money.

If the "Aurora" does exist, and if it does indeed have a Pulse Detonation Engine as so many speculate, then there is probably little useful technology to transfer other than heat resistant hybrid ceramics and airframe composites.

Chances are a 1980's "Aurora" is not a waverider with a scramjet glued to it's belly as the X-51A will be, therefore there would be little black technology worth transferring from one to the other [my opinion].



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 11:50 PM
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I'm kind of sick and tired of these space planes getting X designations. Save the X for fighters! Pretty soon it'll be the X-138



posted on Jan, 3 2006 @ 12:15 AM
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Originally posted by NWguy83
I'm kind of sick and tired of these space planes getting X designations. Save the X for fighters! Pretty soon it'll be the X-138


The 'X' designation is used for "experimental' aero vehicles of all types. It has never been limited to fighter aircraft.

However the 'F' designation IS used exclusively for fighters.

Linkey to 'X' plane site.



posted on Jan, 12 2006 @ 07:59 AM
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I might as well stick this here instead of opening a new thread:


India has joined the scramjet 'business':

www.hindu.com...



The SCRAMJET technology is still in a nascent stage of development the world over. India is the second country after the U.S. to have advanced this far. "Other than the U.S., which has recently carried out in-flight demonstration of supersonic combustion for a short duration, work related to supersonic designs in other countries such as Japan, China, Russia, Australia, Europe and others are either in their initial or ground testing phase," ISRO said in a release. Through a series of ground tests, a stable supersonic combustion was demonstrated at the VSSC for nearly seven seconds with an inlet Mach number of six (six times the speed of sound), the release said.



I confess I don't quite understand what their testing method was as the next paragraph would tend to conflict with the above:




It is learnt that an in-flight test SCRAMJET using a rocket was likely to take place in 2007. "In the coming years, ISRO is planning to flight test an integrated SCRAMJET propulsion system comprising air-intake, combustor and nozzle, by using a cost effective, two-stage RH-560 sounding rocket. Development of such a high technology system will come in a big way towards meeting the futuristic space transportation needs of our country." The cost of the current test was about 15 times lower than a similar test in the U.S.


Anyway, there is the info for you all and here is another link:

sify.com...




*I took this info from the space exploration forum on ATS, original poster was Netscape.

[edit on 12-1-2006 by kilcoo316]



posted on Jan, 12 2006 @ 09:00 PM
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Unfortunately,

I can only comment generally as the LINK url is already dated and Google doesn't do much with the Antelope Valley Gazette coming up blank, even cached.

That said, the realities are this:

1. Waverider and scramtechnologies take about four stories worth of joints and stage seals and careful balancing and nav compensation of same from your typical TBM. To potentially stuff them into a vehicle the size of two desks side by hip (the X-43 is 12ft long). That's a very bad idea, even if the design is little more than a recce capability or an airburst EMP warhead designed to starve /everybody/ of high end C4ISR at zero rad count.

2. You can indeed use scram technology as both first (variable cycle) and second stage ('pure' supersonic combustion with air liquification cryofuel bleed) to get either ssto (big) or Sanger like orbital insert. Again, this sucks buttermilk because it makes it impossible to be 'definitive' in terms of owning the high frontier while nobody else does. Once you start down the road of competitive overhead; you have to talk space warfare (publically) to secure your operating capabilities and that will only make more people mad at U.S. exclusivity. Or worse, delighted, because we own most of the big birds in orbit and are soon going to run out of HLV options to replace hundred million dollar assets.

3. /At some point/ you start to see the potential of 'tactical' (conventional and repeatable) global bombardment systems which will encourage the formation of nation-leagues whose sole purpose is to hostage U.S. aggression by threatening non-contiguous counter interdiction in return for whatever our theater assets do to cripple a 'rogue states' infrastructure as a kind of pot:kettle blackmail.
TAVs which can lob building killer explosives weighing only five hundred pounds, halfway around the world, make a joke out of all the promise that the cryo fuels (hydrogen's power density is almost a prerequiste for the hypersonic realm) could bring to OUR lives, in transport and electrical generation.


Nothing good comes from bringing disparate, competitive, cultures closer together when the objective is to be seen as 'equals' under blatantly military program (death or bust) goals for functionality of the tech.

India is the largest nation on the planet now in terms of population yet continues to have one of the lowest per capital living wages of any industrialized nation Outside the cities they are a virtual stone age economy.

NASA's ability to see the weather has not markedly improved in 20 years (Weather Channel as a spectator sport, I swear...), nor does it need to. Yet they fail to investigate means to moderate meteorologic events 'because that's too hard'. And so class-4/5 hurricanes hit the south coast and waste billions.

This nation is fighting an 'unacknowledged' war for oil with 3,279 terrawatt hour generation requireemnt vastly beyond wind or (terrestrial) solar power replacement capabilities. Yet they won't admit that ALL THE POWER WE NEED is up in orbit with 30-50% efficiency solar power stations and microwave relays. If only there was something more than a god forsaken /weapon/ able to lift the heavy components up there.

Hypersonics don't impress much when there are so many more powerful and life threatening science projects to better, slower, longer, FINISH here at home.


KPl.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 12:56 AM
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This is obviosly the next step up from the successfull Hyper-X demonstrations.

(I think) Its old name was SED (Scramjet Engine Demonstrator), its seems now its more "official".
Heres the P&W link about it.
SED


BTW...Has any one found any artist renderings of it???
In case you didn't know, the pic Intelgurl posted is a rendering of the (cancelled) X-43B.

Heres a link about the X-51. (Since Intelgurls main link isn't working)
X-51

some quotes from it:


Lab research indicates the engine, known as a scramjet, can propel an aircraft at more than five times the speed of sound. Researchers hope to fly five to eight unmanned X-51 As at speeds up to seven times the speed of sound, or about 4,600 mph.



Program Director Charles Brink said the goal is five to 10 minutes of scramjet-powered flight for a dash of up to 600 nautical miles.


[edit on 13-1-2006 by Murcielago]



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