Tech

August 18, 2012

Recap: X-51A flight ends prematurely

The X-51A Waverider is mounted under the wing of a B-52 Stratofortress at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation of its Aug. 14, 2012, test flight. On a previous flight, the X-51A flew for more than three minutes at Mach 4.88 under scramjet power.

The X-51A Waverider successfully launched from a B-52 Stratofortress over Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range, Calif., Aug. 14, 2012, at approximately 11:36 a.m. PDT.

The X-51 safely separated from the B-52 and the rocket booster fired as planned. However, after 16 seconds, a fault was identified with one of the cruiser control fins. Once the X-51 separated from the rocket booster, approximately 15 seconds later, the cruiser was not able to maintain control due to the faulty control fin and was lost.

“It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the scramjet engine,” said Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager for Air Force Research Laboratory. “All our data showed we had created the right conditions for engine ignition and we were very hopeful to meet our test objectives.”

The B-52 Stratofortress carrying the X-51A Waverider takes off from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation for the Aug. 14, 2012, test flight. The test ended prematurely when a fault with a control fin caused the vehicle to lose control.

This particular control subsystem had proven reliable in the previous two flights of the X-51A, including the historic May 2010 flight when the Waverider flew for more than three minutes at Mach 4.88 under scramjet power – nearly five times the speed of sound.

Program officials will now begin the process of working through a rigorous evaluation to determine the exact cause of all factors at play.

One of the four X-51A vehicles remains. AFRL officials have not decided when or if that vehicle will fly at this time.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>