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article archives at abelard's news and comment zonescience archives 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 III-2004: 02 02-2 03 09 18 22 28


science and technology

“the first time an air-breathing scramjet-powered aircraft has flown freely”

“NASA's second X-43A hypersonic research aircraft flew successfully today, the first time an airbreathing scramjet powered aircraft has flown freely.

“The vehicle's supersonic combustion ramjet, or scramjet, ignited as planned and operated for the duration of its hydrogen fuel supply, which lasted about 10 seconds. The X-43A reached its test speed of Mach 7.

“ "It's been a great, record-breaking day," said Larry Huebner, NASA Langley Research Center's Hyper-X propulsion lead. "We achieved positive acceleration of the vehicle while we were climbing, and maintained outstanding vehicle control. This was a world-record speed for air-breathing flight," Huebner said.“

For much background and
picture. Larger versions of the image and much else also available from this link.

Another link with description of the flight and technical details.



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