The XA Waverider hypersonic scramjet project is set for its second test flight today, and the U. Air Force hopes it will demonstrate technology that can eventually be used for more efficient transport of payloads into orbit. The craft will be carried to 15, meters 50, ft. A booster rocket will fire, getting the Waverider to Mach 4. However, it was hoped that the XA would fly for as long as seconds or 5 minutes and reach Mach 6. The loss of acceleration was attributed to a design flaw, which led to hot exhaust gas leaking from the engine into electronics bays.
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Experimental Scramjet Aircraft Set for Test Flight
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After flying at five times the speed of sound for more than three minutes Wednesday, the US Air Force's experimental XA Waverider scramjet has set a new record for the longest hypersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight. May 27, An experimental aircraft has set a new record for the longest hypersonic flight after streaking across the sky Wednesday for more than three minutes while flying at Mach 5 — five times the speed of sound — the United States Air Force has announced. The vehicle, called the XA Waverider , dropped from a B Stratofortress mother ship while flying over the Pacific Ocean just off the southern California coast.