Boeing Aircraft Sets Hypersonic Flight Record
An experimental unmanned aircraft flies for three-and-a-half minutes at five times the speed of sound.
An aircraft designed by Boeing has made history by achieving the longest ever hypersonic flight by a jet-fuel powered aircraft.
The X-51A WaveRider flew for three-and-a-half minutes at five times the speed of sound, the US Air Force has confirmed.
The last of four unmanned experimental military aircraft built by Boeing flew at a top speed of Mach 5.1 over the Pacific Ocean on May 1, the Air Force said.
The total flight covered 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes before the hypersonic cruiser plunged into the ocean.
The Air Force says it was the longest of the four X-51A test flights and the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever.
The technology demonstration opens the door to future practical use of hypersonic jet-fuelled aircraft.
Previous aircraft developed by NASA used hydrogen as a fuel, but it would take a giant tank to fly for longer periods.
Note from Stew Webb:
When this aircraft was tested in 2010 I was aware of the maiden flight it set off china and russian defense systems which engaged nuclear alert in both countries. I said enough, I do not work for Gov. But as an American Secrets are Secret when it comes to National Defense. This Toy is Bad As_. By the time the enemy detects it, it has left their airspace.
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