• search
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

US Army's 'WaveRider' can fly more than 6 times faster than speed of sound

By Super Admin
|

Sydney, May 1 (ANI): The US military is preparing to test an experimental aircraft, called 'WaveRider', that can fly more than six times faster than the speed of sound on ordinary jet fuel.

Officially, it's known as the X-51, but some like to call it the WaveRider because it stays airborne, in part, with lift generated by the shock waves of its own flight.

According to a report by ABC News, the design stems from the goal of the program - to demonstrate an air-breathing, hypersonic, combustion ramjet engine, known as a scramjet.

"We built a vehicle around an engine," said Joseph Vogel, the X-51 project manager with Boeing, which is building a series of four test planes under a 246.5 million dollars program managed by the US Air Force Research Laboratory.

Scramjets use the forward motion of an engine to compress air for fuel combustion; similar to a ramjet engine, but at supersonic speeds.

NASA tested the concept in 2004, breaking the record for a jet-powered aircraft with a speed of Mach 9.6, or approximately 11,000 kilometers per hour.

But, the vehicle, known as X-43, only flew for a few seconds and its copper-based engine was not designed to survive the flight.

"The heat from the combustion process was just absorbed by (X-43's) engine. It would hold its shape for a limited point of time and then start melting," said X-51 program manager Charlie Brink.

The X-51 engine is made from a standard nickel alloy and is cooled during flight by its own fuel. The program's goal is to fly for about five minutes.

The WaveRider's first flight is scheduled for October over the Pacific Ocean.

It will be carried into the air by a B-52 bomber and released at an altitude of about 15,000 metres. A solid-rocket booster will ignite and speed it up to about Mach 4.8 and if all goes well, the aircraft's engine will take over from there, boosting the speed to more than Mach 6.

"If we can achieve five minutes of powered flight, it will surpass everything we've done by a magnitude," said Vogel.

"I truly believe this is one of those history leaps that will only happen every so many hundred years," he added. (ANI)

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more