WaveRider hypersonic jet aiming for Mach 6


Staff Member
A B-52 bomber will lift the wingless unmanned jet from US Edwards Air Force Base in California to 50,000 feet (15,250m).
The craft will then be dropped, and after a free fall of about four seconds, its engine is supposed to ignite.

X-51A WaveRider should then climb to 70,000ft (21,300m) and eventually reach Mach 6.
I wonder if there will be any footage available online?
Should be pretty impressive watching something hit Mach 6.

The WaveRider test flight is expected to last for about five minutes. At the end of it, the aircraft will break into pieces and fall into the Pacific.
Not quite ready for manned test flights then LOL

I do like this stuff. What happened to the mach 20 plane they lost.

Concorde Mach 2
Sr-71 Blackbird mach 3
X-15 rocket powered plane mach 6
I love the fact that this is being done for commercial aircraft development, when they turn this one out I don't care how much it costs, I want to fly in it :D
I thought the whole X plane project was cancelled years ago? You have to wonder why we need death and destruction to travel at such high speed, isn't it better to give the masses a chance to get away?
One other thought, does the high nose on the wave rider breach the new FIA regs? LOL

The mach 20 craft had control issues and it too, is at the bottom of the Pacific. I honestly don't have a clue what sort of control surfaces you could use at that speed. By the way, telemetry of its flight indicated a velocity of between mach 17 and 22!
The mach 20 plane was being developed as a weapon. It would allow you to bomb any where on the planet within 1 hour.
I suspect they are still testing prototypes.
What G force will Mach 20 or even Mach 6 generate? I thought pilots of fighter planes could only handle around 10 G's during high speed turns. If these new places are going to be operating at higher speeds will they just become drones?
G force is only relevant during turns, so any hypersonic craft would just go up and down in a straigh(ish) line or make very slight course adjustments.

Of course acceleration would be an issue so that too would need to be capped to a certain limit, even more so as passengers wouldn't be wearing G Suits.
FB the X programme isn't a programme as such but a designation given to experimental aircraft. Famous examples being the Bell X-1 and the North American X-15. The latest X plane is the X-56 which is being used to research technology fo high altitude, long endurance reconnaissance aircraft.
Iran are hardly going to launch a conventional rocket powered ICBM if they know that in the 30 or so minutes it takes their missile to reach it's target, they have a fleet of mach 6 missiles homing in on them.
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