Air Force's X-51 Scramjet Sets Record
This Air Force illustration depicts the X-51A Waverider scramjet vehicle during hypersonic flight during its May 26, 2010 test. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SJY61 scramjet engine, it is designed to ride on its own shockwave and accelerate to about Mach 6. Full Story.
Hypersonic X-51 Scramjet
The Boeing Phantom Works X-51A vehicle with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SJY61 scramjet hangs on B-52H wing mount under full moon.
X-51 Waverider in Hangar
An X-51 Waverider hypersonic test vehicle is seen in an Air Force hangar prior to a record-setting May 2010 test flight that marked the longest hypersonic flight.
X-51A Waverider before second flight test
Ground crew members make the final checks to the X-51A Waverider scramjet, which is affixed to an Edwards B-52H Stratofortress, before the Waverider's June 13 flight test.
X-51A Taxis to Runway: June 2011
A B-52H Stratofortress taxis to the runway at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., June 13, 2011, carrying the X-51A Waverider scramjet during its second test flight.
X-51A Captive Carry: March 2010
An Air Force Flight Test Center B-52 Stratofortress from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., carries an X-51A Waverider prior to the scramjet’s first hypersonic flight test on March 26, 2010.
X-51A Antenna Tests
An X-51 Scramjet-Waverider mock-up hangs inside the Benefield Anechoic Facility during the vehicle's antenna testing Jan. 29, 2008 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Final X-51A Checks: June 2011
Ground crew members at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., make the final checks June 13, 2011, to the X-51A Waverider scramjet prior to its second test flight.
X-51A Waverider Checked Out
Ground crew members at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., make the final checks June 13, 2011, to the X-51A Waverider scramjet prior to its second test flight. Affixed to a B-52H Stratofortress, the Waverider was flown over the Pacific Ocean and launched.
Waverider Meets Stratofortress
The X-51A WaveRider hypersonic flight test vehicle was uploaded to an Air Force Flight Test Center B-52 Stratofortress at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., July 17 for fit testing. Two B-52 test flights are planned this fall prior to the X-51's first hypersonic scramjet flight over the Pacific Ocean scheduled in December. Representatives from the Air Force Research Laboratory, DARPA, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and Boeing are partnering on the X-51A technology demonstrator program.
An X-51A Waverider successfully launched from a B-52 Stratofortress, like the one shown here, on May 26, 2010. It was the longest supersonic combustion ramjet-powered hypersonic flight to date and accelerated to Mach 5.