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Edwards Receives First X-51A WaveRider Vehicle

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X-51A hypersonic test vehicle (Air Force photo/Mike Cassidy)

X-51A hypersonic test vehicle (Air Force photo/Mike Cassidy)

EDWARDS AFB PRESS RELEASE

The first X-51A Scramjet Engine Demonstrator WaveRider vehicle arrived at Edwards Integrated Maintenance Facility, Building 710 June 25. The aircraft will begin ground tests July 6. Assembly was completed last month at Boeing’s High Desert Assembly, Integration and Test facility at Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif.

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Reusable Spaceplane Efforts Continue

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X-51 Waverider

X-51 Waverider

William John Cox gives an overview of the aviation and space travel in his essay, “Comet, Airbus and Spaceplane: The Past, Present and Future of Commercial Aviation.” The last section of the essay provides an overview of past and present efforts to design reusable spaceplanes, including the X-43, X-51 and HTV-3X Blackswift programs.

X-51 Hypersonic Vehicle is Air Force’s Ticket to Space

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X-51 Waverider

X-51 Waverider

Scramjet engine flight tests to start this fall
Dayton Daily News

This fall, the Air Force will send a futuristic-looking aircraft roaring out over the Pacific Ocean at nearly five times the speed of sound in its first flight test of a scramjet engine.

Officials hope the engine eventually will provide a speedier transition between conventional aircraft in the atmosphere and rockets in outer space for deployment of satellites, and reconnaissance or strike missions.

“The long-range goal of this for the Air Force is access to space,” said Charlie Brink, an Air Force Research Laboratory propulsion directorate official who manages the X-51 program from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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