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X-51A Makes Longest Scramjet Flight

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posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 07:28 AM
Hey people, I just saw this on the NASA website and thought I'd share it here... Hope you enjoy it.

I also liked this quote from the bottom of the article..

"Program officials said producing thrust with a scramjet has been compared to lighting a match in a hurricane and keeping it burning."


P.S. This is my first ever thread.... be gentle....

posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:27 AM

The X-51A was not designed to be recovered for examination

Air Force intends to fly the three remaining X-51A flight test vehicles this fall on virtually identical flight profiles, building knowledge from each successive flight.

Being an "AirForce Brat', I love it how we just launch these things and let them go like bottle rockets.

Reminds me of when we lived at Holloman AFB, New Mexico (White Sands Missile Range) and the test flights. I had once asked the 'ol' man' about our the testing of the guidence systems on some of the missles that would be launched from Utah intended for a target at the Missle Range.

His quote-" ..sometimes they don't work and land over in Mexico.."- end quote.

Added note- Can't wait 'til they put a saddle on that thing!

posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 09:43 AM
Haha, I guess they wouldn't try to recover the rockets that landed there then?

I'm gonna be keeping my eye on this scramjet project for a while I think. I love the SR-71 Blackbird and that was using ramjet so it'll be awesome to see what this scramjet can do with the taps fully open...

posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 08:49 AM
[Speaking of the SR-71, that's one of my favorite. Here's another one of the 'Ol'Boy's' Air Force expierences-

This was around the late sixties and the only time in the ol' man's AF career (..he was a navigator..) that I remember him being grounded.(although he says he flew just enough each month to keep up with his flight status) His duty assignment at Holloman AFB was 'Flightline Security Squadron Commander'.

He had gotten word of a 'Top Secret' aircraft was going to have to do an emergency landing there at HAFB and he needed to secure a hanger for it upon landing. Turns out it was the SR-71 and it had a flame out above Albuquerque, N.M. which is about 220 miles north. First thing that came to my Dad's mind was "A flame out, now what does the AF have that can gliding that far?"

This all transpired at night, so Pops has the hanger surrounded by security and they were told to look away from the hanger during the aircraft taxi into the hanger.

Well the ol'man was one that has to be on the "need to know' list, so he followed this Top Secret aircraft into the hanger. He said that this plane leaked like a sieve but the fuel was a 'Boron-type' fuel that was not comnbustible at normal atmosheric pressure and as the SR-71 gets up to speed that the jet's skin stretches and seals itself off.

Now what I'm wondering is this-

ex]Once the X-51A was free of its booster and interstage, its SJY61 engine ignited, initially on a mix of ethylene, similar to lighter fluid, and JP-7 jet fuel then exclusively on JP-7 jet fuel.

What type of material do we have now that would be able to skin a jet that can withstand Mach 5? I would think that it couldn't flex under pressure/stress and would have to be able to seal the fuel in on the ground being that this fuel is nothing like the SR-71's.

posted on Aug, 18 2010 @ 04:41 AM
I'm not sure about that to be honest, but if you're wondering what can withstand mach 5, maybe you should think about this -

"The X-43 had the previous longest flight burn time of 12 seconds,[18][19][20] while setting a new speed record of Mach 9.8 (12,144 km/h, 7,546 mph)"

The X-43 was the previous testbed for the Scramjet engine, I assume it was more of a 'let's see what it can do' test as opposed to seeing how long it can go for.

I found that on the X-51a wiki page

And I can't believe your ol' man saw the Blackbird upclose... jealous much!

posted on Aug, 18 2010 @ 10:20 AM
reply to post by kai22

Give you one better-

I remember as a kid looking at a framed picture of the Blackbird in his 'at-home' office/study/HIS room. The photo is taken from above the bird while in flight. The pilot is clearly visible and even waving. I asked Pops where he got that picture from? He told me it's from a re-fueling mission and he just leaned towards the cockpit window and took his camera out..

Here's the kicker- This was around 1969! At that time in my youth, I just thought "Cool picture the Ol' man took." Years later I realized what he actually had (still has!) and the possible implications it could have been to National Security if the AF knew he had it, let alone that it was hanging on his wall at home!

As an added note-
He's always has been and still is 'True Red, White and Blue' and getting any info about some of the 'possible covert missions' (that I know of) that he was on is nil.

I have repeatedly told him that when he dies, all I want is his 'collection' and his journal, which he claims he doesn't have.( Ah B.S.-He still documents everytime he gets gas and his mpg in a little notebook in the glove).

Although now when I bring up the Journal thing, he says 'All that has been declassified now, I don't know why you would want it'. My reply was 'Is you name on any of it?'

Quick answer- 'No'

Back to your 'OP'-

Matter of factly, I just recieved an email from him, I'll ask him his views on the Scramjet's pros and cons...

posted on Aug, 19 2010 @ 01:04 AM
Got a response back. His quote-

I think we have more practical engines (chemical, atomic, non oxygen type) that are better for hypersonic, piloted, flight. Problem probably remains with structural material that will withstand stress of rapid change of temperature.

So I looked into 'exotic propulsion'-

Looks to me that the X-43 is just for 'Public show' and we are well beyond that.

posted on Aug, 19 2010 @ 02:24 AM
I'll have to agree with you there. I remember reading somewhere that "private" science is roughly 7 years ahead of "public" science, which when you think of how fast we're progressnig in recent years is unbelievable.

I've had a quick look at the links you posted and this one stood out the most -

I can't get the image off the site unfortunately, but it's essentially a flying saucer, which reminds me of a program I once saw on Discovery about the true origins of UFO. In one segment, an old guy (can't remember if he was an old scientist, ex military etc, I've yet to find the video on the net) was talking about this photo -


He went on to take a 100-coil of normal copper wire, loosely cellotape it to a table and plug it into a standard plug socket. The coil hovered off the table! He was using this as an example of how these flying saucers may hover, even stating that after a short while, the wire will glow white-hot - notice the white glow from underneath the UFO.

No doubt someone, somewhere MUST have taken advantage of this by now. This guy had known about this for years, others must have done aswell so why not use it?


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