jet clocks 10 times speed of sound

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    Jet clocks 10 times speed of sound
    From AP and AFP correspondents in Edwards Air Force Base, California
    November 17, 2004

    A US hypersonic experimental scramjet clocked up a test flight at 10 times the speed of sound, sealing a second world speed record, NASA said.

    The unmanned NASA jet was launched over the Pacific Ocean yesterday in a bid to demonstrate a radical new engine technology by flying at a world-record 7000mph (11,263 km/h) – almost 10 times the speed of sound.

    The 3.6m-long X-43A "scramjet" was carried aloft under the wing of a B-52 aircraft and released over a test range off the Southern California coast. It was to fly under its own power at Mach 10 for about 10 seconds at 33,000m, then glide to a splash landing. The craft was designed to sink and will not be recovered.

    Unlike rockets, scramjets do not have to carry heavy oxidizer necessary to burn fuel. Instead, they can scoop oxygen out of the atmosphere.

    Scramjet technology could be used to develop hypersonic missiles and airplanes or reusable space launch vehicles, with a potential for speeds of at least Mach 15.

    The first X-43A flight failed in 2001 when the booster rocket veered off course and had to be destroyed. The second X-43A flew in March and reached Mach 6.83, or nearly 8045 km/h, a record for an aircraft powered by an air-breathing engine.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    The world just got a little smaller.


 
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