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.


 
 

 

Headlines July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...
 

 

Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
 
 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>