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In a letter dated 27 September 2005, the US Air Force (HQ USAF/XPPE) officially granted the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Propulsion Directorate’s scramjet flight test vehicle the designation X-51A. Since the introduction of the legendary X-1 in 1946, scientists have used the X-plane designations to identify experimental aircraft and rockets used to explore new aerospace technologies. The Propulsion Directorate was working with Pratt & Whitney (P&W)/Rocketdyne’s Space Propulsion Division and Boeing’s Transformational Space Systems Division to design the X-51A scramjet powered flight vehicle to explore the airbreathing system-level potential of scramjets.
The military-oriented endothermically fueled, scramjet engine flight demonstrator (EFSEFD) was initiated in early 2003. At that time the first test flight was planned for late 2006. If successful, 5-11 flights could be performed, with as many as four more following over a roughly 18-month period, and the rest, 18 months after that. These test flights differ significantly from those of NASA's X-43C. In the latter, a three-flowpath scramjet module featuring variable-geometry inlets will be flown, with the flowpaths mounted in a side-by-side configuration. In contrast, the test vehicles used to explore scramjet military uses will each be powered by a single scramjet sporting a fixed-geometry inlet.
In January 2004 a team consisting of Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and Boeing Phantom Works was selected by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to flight test the Endothermically Fueled Scramjet Engine Flight Demonstrator (EFSEFD), also known as the Scramjet Engine Demonstrator - WaveRider (SED-WR). The first year contract, which is valued at $7.7M (total program value is estimated at approximately $140M), was awarded to the team to explore the airbreathing system-level potential of scramjets through multiple flight tests that will begin in the 2007-2008 time frame.
Originally posted by SECRET PLANE
Mach 19 cargo plane!!!!!! waste money project !!
“It’s not a missile, but a propulsion demonstrator intended to validate the operation and performance of a scramjet engine in an operating environment as close as possible to reality,”
Originally posted by NotheRaGe
The flight speed of X-51 is mentioned in the middle section of the article to be Mach 6 to 7. Mach 19 is for a space shuttle entering the atmosphere. Flight tests will be taking place in 2009.
Originally posted by phsyco
if this thing can fly like that ill drop my mouth. no way it can fly that fast.sorry no offense.its just that how can they do this if we still havent come up to the technology level.even the raptor cant over take mach 3! how can a cargo ship take over make 7 at this rate.
Originally posted by phsyco
well then.the airframe of the cargo ship.can it take mach 7.never heard of the scram jet.how big is this thing.size sometimes can matter if its small this thing might not be abled to go up to mach 7.sorry.but all i heard was the saturn space craft going to about 11000to 30000 miles per hour.the international sattelites even travel at 17500 miles per hour.
Originally posted by kilcoo316
What is the projected timeframe for this project, more specifically any proposed service entry date?
I'm enquiring because I am wondering whether a vehicle of any speed will be of much use in an era of DEWs.
I'm also going to be intrigued by the solution for weapon detachment, no doubt they'll get there in the end, but - it'll be interesting
Originally posted by intelgurl
What form would stealth take on a vehicle travelling at Mach 10+?
By virtue of it's sheer speed alone it would be surrounded by a field of plasma and look something akin to a meteor going across the sky.
How would such a vehicle be tracked?
How would a light amplification DEW interact with a plasma field of that sort?
In regard to weapon deployment from a craft going that speed the R&D is already being worked on:
"RATTLRS successfully tested"