The Air Force's experimental X-51A unmanned hypersonic air vehicle flew further on its own power in its first flight on May 26, 2010, than any other scramjet-powered vehicle in history, eclipsing NASA's X-43 Hyper-X, said Air Force and industry officials that same day. The X-51A successfully flew autonomously more than three and a half minutes over the Pacific Ocean, with its scramjet accelerating it to speeds of Mach 5 and an altitude of about 70,000 ft. Thereafter, a vehicle anomaly occurred and the flight was terminated. Nonetheless, the officials said they consider the mission an unqualified success. Here, the X-51A shown on its B-52H host platform before its launch.
Air Force photo by Mike Cassidy
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Daily Report: Read the top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
An F-35A Lightning II assigned to Hill AFB, Utah,
conducts a training flight with F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to Kunsan
AB, Republic of Korea, over the city of Gunsan, on Dec. 1, 2017,
in preparation for Vigilant Ace 18.
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