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Going Hypersonic: Air Force's X-51A Waverider in Pictures

Waverider Meets Stratofortress, Closer View

U.S. Air Force photo/Chad Bellay

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.

Waverider on Forklift

U.S. Air Force/Chad Bellay

On the flightline of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Staff Sgt. Jonathan Young prepares to upload the X-51A WaveRider hypersonic flight test vehicle to a B-52 Stratofortress 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. Sergeant Young is with the 412th Maintenance Group.

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