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