Tag Archives: hypersonic flight

Air Force hypersonic test ends in failure

The second test flight in an Air Force program to research hypersonic flight failed when its booster rocket was intentionally destroyed for safety reasons immediately after launch.

It was the second test of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, a program managed by U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command to develop a conventional deep-strike munition that travels through the atmosphere on a nonballistic trajectory. In its first flight, the vehicle lifted off from Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and flew a nonballistic, glide trajectory at hypersonic speeds toward the Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll — some 4,000 kilometers away — where it arrived about 30 minutes later.

After four tries the Air Force X-51A Waverider test craft finally succeeded in achieving sustained, scramjet-powered, air-breathing hypersonic flight above Mach 5 in its final test flight on May 1.

After four tries the Air Force X-51A Waverider test craft finally succeeded in achieving sustained, scramjet-powered, air-breathing hypersonic flight above Mach 5 in its final test flight on May 1.

The Air Force has released its investigation into the failure of the August test flight of the X-51a hypersonic scramjet.

The Air Force has released its investigation into the failure of the August test flight of the X-51a hypersonic scramjet.

As first surmised, the problem was a control fin. Though they haven’t set the date for the next test flight, it appears they do intend to proceed.

A test flight of an Air Force hypersonic aircraft failed yesterday when it went out of control before its experimental scramjet engine could be started

A test flight of an Air Force hypersonic aircraft failed yesterday when it went out of control before its experimental scramjet engine could be started.

Though failures during engineering tests are not really failures, as the goal is to find out if the engineering works or doesn’t, this particular failure is a bit more like a real failure. They never got to test the scramjet engine, which was the point of the entire flight. Instead, they had a failure of a control fin on the aircraft, and it appears that this fin was “faulty.” Not a good sign, especially as the previous flight in June 2011 also failed prematurely.

Some questions about today’s hypersonic test flight

Here are some additional stories describing today’s test flight of the Hypersonic Test Vehicle.

I have several questions, and no answers: