Business

May 8, 2013

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne scramjet powers record-breaking flight of X-51A WaveRider

CANOGA PARK, Calif. – The X-51A WaveRider hypersonic vehicle, powered by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s SJY61 scramjet engine, achieved aviation history on May 1 by making the longest-ever supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight, flying full duration and achieving mission success.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. company.

“This test flight brings aviation closer than ever to the reality of regular, sustained hypersonic flight,” said Jim Maser, president of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.  “We are very proud to be part of the team that made this possible.”

“The X-51A is a critical element in our progression to practical hypersonic propulsion, providing a greater understanding of hypersonic propulsion performance, control and structural durability,” said George Thum, X-51A program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

The X-51A program is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Boeing and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

“It was a full mission success,” said Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager for the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate.  “I believe all we have learned from the X-51A WaveRider will serve as the bedrock for future hypersonics research and ultimately the practical application of hypersonic flight.”

During this, the X-51A’s fourth and final planned flight, the unmanned WaveRider vehicle was carried beneath the wing of a U.S. Air Force B-52 and dropped from an altitude of about 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean off southern California.  A solid rocket booster fired and propelled the cruiser to scramjet takeover, creating the supersonic environment necessary to operate the engine. The scramjet successfully propelled the cruiser more than 230 nautical miles in approximately six minutes, streaking through the sky from Mach 4.8 to Mach 5.1 while climbing in altitude.  The engine ran full duration, depleting all fuel as planned. It was the longest of the four X-51A test flights and the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever. Early indications show the propulsion system accomplished all objectives.

 




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


 
 

 
NG-growler2

Northrop Grumman delivers center/aft ‘shipset’ for first international EA-18G Growler

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman mechanics perform final quality inspections on the center/aft fuselage shipset produced by the company for the first Australian EA-18G Growler. The subassembly will be delivered to B...
 
 

Boeing, ANA finalize order for three 787-10 Dreamliners

Boeing and All Nippon Airways (ANA) today finalized an order for three 787-10 Dreamliners, valued at approximately $900 million at list prices. With this order, originally announced as a commitment in January 2015, ANA becomes Boeing’s newest 787-10 customer and first airline in Asia to operate the entire family of 787 Dreamliners. “We truly appreciate...
 
 

Poland’s MESKO, Raytheon sign second letter of intent

In a move designed to collaborate and share advanced defense technologies, Raytheon’s Missile Systems business signed a Letter of Intent with MESKO, Poland’s leading missile and ammunition manufacturer. Areas of cooperation focus on Raytheon’s solutions for the KRAB howitzer precision fires and new Polish Attack Helicopter, including offset proposals and opportunities for MESK...
 

 

Airbus Group delivers first new UH-72A Lakota for Army initial-entry trainer mission

Airbus Group March 25 delivered to the U.S. Army the first UH-72A Lakota helicopter to come off the Airbus Helicopters Inc. production line configured for the Lakota’s latest mission, as the service’s initial-entry training helicopter. The aircraft will join seven Lakotas previously in the Army inventory that have already been modified to the training configuration...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Lockheed Martin acquires high-speed wind tunnel, plans upgrades

Courtesy photograph A RATTLRS cruise-missile inlet undergoes testing at the High Speed Wind Tunnel at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie. Lockheed Martin recently purchased the facility and plans numerou...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andrew McMurtrie

Off they go: Three more C-130Js delivered

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andrew McMurtrie March 19, a U.S. Air Force crew took delivery of and ferried an MC-130J Commando II Special Operations tanker aircraft that is assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command’s ...
 




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>