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X-43A really hypersonic?

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posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 08:32 PM
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Hey guys ... I believe this is my first post in the Aircraft Projects forum. It is an area of extreme intrest for me and I hope to be contributing alot in the future.

I have been particularly interested with the X-43A flights of '04, not so much from the speed perspective but from the technology of scramjets. However after pouring over technical documents all over the web and NASA's site, I have found something "odd". While there are plenty of pictures of the X-43A in flight on it's Pegasus booster, there are no pics/video of the X-43A after it is released. There are some spectral/infrared imagery/video ... but that's it. Now NASA claims to have gone Mach 9.6 (and I truly do believe it) ... I just don't understand why there are no direct pics/vids of it? Is it still classified? If so, why? Wouldn't we only see a black blur on the pics/vids (nothing that could leak the tech, anyways)? And NASA touts that Guinness states that it's a world record ... doesn't Guinness require technical AND visual proof?

I would appreciate if someone more knowledgeable than I could step in, and I'm sorry if this has been already posted.




posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 08:36 PM
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How would you go about getting pictures of the X-43 in flight at mach 9? And why would you need to if all the data you need can be captured by the X-43 or remote sensors ie radar?



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 08:44 PM
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Well there isn't even visual evidence of it separating from the Pegasus, or of it traveling before it's engine is ignited (where it would still be moving at/near the rate of the Pegasus).

I guess you're right though. I just like some sort of visual evidence (plus that would be awesome to see).



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 02:58 AM
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The X-43 was so small, it couldnt be filmed clearly from a chase plane. After booster seperation, it was also flying faster than any chase plane, so it was out of sight real fast.
Seperation of the booster and X-43 vehicle was very much visible, from a distance, I have seen this myself, I saw both flight test live, via NASA TV.

As Nacnud pointed out, air peed and other data can be captured by radar, NASA has very advanced radar tracking equipment. They also tracked it visually:


Infrared image of the world-record Mach 6.8 flight of the second X-43A scramjet on March 27, 2004. U.S. Army.

Data of the flight was send to a Navy P-3 support aircraft, via a telemetry stream.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 09:57 PM
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There are pictures of all three X-43A separations that were taken by cameras on the booster and telemetered to mission control. I believe some of these were published in Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. There may also be some online in the NASA Dryden photo gallery.



posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 12:56 AM
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Yea thanks guys. I did some more digging and found what I needed to. Btw, I didn't mean to make the thread title sound like I was questioning whether it flew hypersonic or not ... I was just looking for some more proof.



posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 01:52 AM
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I just want to point out that the top speed of the 3rd and final X-43 hit mach 9.8.

I watched the 3rd one on Nasa tv as well...It was pretty cool to watch it drop from the B-52 and fire its rocket...But I was a little dissapointed that I never got to see the actual scramjet flight portion of it.



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