It might well be just a matter of time before engineers with the U.S. military master hypersonic jet flying. The third experimental US hypersonic aircraft test failed, but prospects are looking good.
Keeping up with the tradition of developing and flying hypersonic jets, the U.S military launched yesterday the hypersonic aircraft X-51A WaveRider. Part of a $140 million project ran by Boeing, the aircraft was supposed to fly for five minutes and reach mach 6. Unfortunately the third experimental hypersonic aircraft test failed.
The U.S hypersonic aircraft encountered problems with the engine ignition, sending it plunging into the ocean just like its other two brothers. Until now, the WaveRider project managed to fly almost half of its expected distance, but all of the models ended up in the ocean.
During the program other hypersonic flight tests were run but this is the third WaveRider that hits the seas and doesn’t conquer the air at the expected speed of 3,600 mph.
Some might explain the latest failed hypersonic aircraft test as a side-effect of some curse the military was hit by. But we’re talking science, and superstition is only for the layman. Every scientist knows experimental projects take time and tests after tests. The Pentagon declared that they will continue with the improvement of the project and hopefully they’ll hit the jackpot some time soon.
John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, said: “They have to go out there and make mistakes and then learn from those mistakes”. The Global Security director also added “evidently, going Mach 6 is hard to do.”
The hopes are high for the U.S military and it seems that they are close to hitting the bull’s eye with hypersonic aircraft research. Pike is confident each failure is a huge source of information the military is taking seriously. “I’m sure they’ll take whatever they think they learned from this flight and have another go-round” added John Pike.
Experimental hypersonic flight has been part of the military for quite a while, but one of their most remarkable projects can be considered the Falcon project. The arrow headed aircraft was expected to reach mach 20 but after only seconds of flight the outer layer got so hot that it peeled off like a piece of skin.