Experimental Unmanned Aircraft Flies at Five Times the Speed of Sound

X-51A

On a test run of the U.S. Airforce’s experimental unmanned aircraft, the X-51A WaveRider flew at a speed of Mach 5.1 for more than three minutes.

To reach a speed of over five times the speed of sound, the X-51A used it’s state-of-the-art scramjet engine after it was first released from a B-52 bomber and accelerated by a rocket engine.

The X-51A’s test flight ended with the experimental craft taking a planned plunge into the ocean.

The purpose of the X-51A’s is to study how a strike can be delivered around the world in just a matter of minutes.

Reference

Experiment Air Force Aircraft Goes Hypersonic