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Fraser
2004-Apr-08, 12:16 AM
SUMMARY: It's been a little over a week since NASA's X-43A hypersonic research aircraft made its successful flight, and the flight data is really impressing the agency. The X-43A was accelerated on board a Pegasus rocket, and then it fired its airbreathing scramjet engine to briefly raise its speed to Mach 7 (8,575 kph). While the data proves that the engine definitely worked, reality differed from the engineers simulations in several respects; more flight tests are scheduled to better understand the dynamics of hypersonic flight.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Ray Bingham
2004-Apr-08, 03:28 AM
Well! Now it is good to see that they are actually claiming that the X-43 accellerated during its powered 11 second phase. They innitially claimed that it reached its peak velocity at separation from the boost vehicle. Hope this new information is correct.

Ray Bingham

teropaz
2004-Apr-08, 09:21 AM
the scramjet was first tested by a british company two years ago in Australia the comp-any name was QinetiQ.

Nick4
2004-Apr-08, 06:55 PM
Thats fast we are making things go faster and faster.

Mettalica1
2004-Apr-08, 07:10 PM
Man im glad that they finaly came out with a new faster jet because i have been sick of hearing of the sr71. :o

knealy
2004-Apr-08, 09:02 PM
At a NASA TV news briefing I saw yesterday a reporter specifically asked when it reached max velocity. The NASA expert replied that both max velocity and max acceleration were at booster separation. However, he also confirmed the accelerometers on board definitely confirmed positive thrust from the scramjet after separation. He also confirmed that it set a new record for air-breathing vehicles.

Nick4
2004-Apr-09, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by Space10@Apr 8 2004, 07:10 PM
Man im glad that they finaly came out with a new faster jet because i have been sick of hearing of the sr71. :o
Ok the sr71 is still the fastest jet on earth becous the jet is not a jet that is pileted by people but by computer and it is not a jet but more of a missal type air craft. So the sr71 is still the fastest. B)

imported_Nick
2004-Apr-09, 08:07 AM
I think you are confusing the SR-71 with something else. The SR-71 seats 2 crew, pilot and navigator.

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/modern_flight/sr71.jpg

isferno
2004-Apr-09, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by knealy@Apr 8 2004, 09:02 PM
At a NASA TV news briefing I saw yesterday a reporter specifically asked when it reached max velocity. The NASA expert replied that both max velocity and max acceleration were at booster separation. However, he also confirmed the accelerometers on board definitely confirmed positive thrust from the scramjet after separation. He also confirmed that it set a new record for air-breathing vehicles.
Are you saying that if I'm boosted with a rocket and after separation I flap my arms a couple of times, I will be just as perfect as the X-43A?

But seriously, what were they testing?
- That there was combustion within the engine at speeds greater then the speed of sound (with enough energy output for acceleration)
- or were they trying to achieve a greater speed then the initial separation speed?

I do not know which milestone they were trying to achieve in this.

Nick4
2004-Apr-09, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by Nick@Apr 9 2004, 08:07 AM
I think you are confusing the SR-71 with something else. The SR-71 seats 2 crew, pilot and navigator.

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/modern_flight/sr71.jpg
Ok well i was not confusing the SR-71 with anything. I went back and read my post it is a little confusing when i was talking about the jet i was refering to the story if you look at the pic of the story the jet is launching what looks like a missal. The SR-71 is the fastest aircrafet other than the space shuttle the only reaston i posted something about the SR is that another member named space10 posted something about the SR and i was just corecting him. You are right about the SR it is pileted by 2 men.

(I hop i helped clere up this little mess. "sorry")

knealy
2004-Apr-09, 07:38 PM
The test, as I understand it, was to see if scramjet technology would work in the real world and the vehicle could remain stable at very high Mach values. The rocket booster was there to accelerate the vehicle to speeds in which scramjets function. They require very high speeds in order for the compression of the intake atmosphere to heat sufficiently to ignite when mixed with hydrogen. Once this happens they are very efficient and I think the main benefit is that you don't need to carry the fuel to mix with hydrogen. This significantly reduces the weight and consequently the fuel necessary to lift. Nearly all of the fuel on space vehicles is used to lift itself.

The rocket booster separated from the test vehicle and the scramjet flew under its own power for 11 seconds, -long enough for the accelerometers on board to verify that it was generating positive thrust and that the scramjet functioned. This was a milestone and the fastest speed for an air-breathing vehicle. NASA believes that the future of commercial space travel is in air-breathers.

So far I haven't heard or seen any quantitative statistics of what sort of velocity it was able to maintain on its own. Perhaps Frasier has a contact that can supply us with a velocity curve to answer this question. NASA seems a bit circumspect.

I wouldn't recommend flapping you arms at Mach 7, but I get your point.

studabakahawk
2004-May-06, 03:43 AM
hi id like to say there was a significent amount of testing done , concerning scram jet technology, using the sr-71 and the lesser known yf-12(a fighter version of the worlds fastest aircraft).
these were test bed and proof of theory tests done with an actual airframe harnessed to the back of a sr-71&yf-12. this was no toy like the recent tests. this was a large piece of machinery,(itself about 1\4 the size of the carrier airframe)
brought up to extremely high mach speeds and ,first testing was to measure the effects of air intakes at such speeds without releasing the air frame,but later the vehicle was brought up to hi mach #'s and released to achive the hypersonic flight.
all this took place over 20 or more years ago i wonder why none of this has been brought out with the advent of the cute little toy they have been playing with.
it is wonderful what we can achieve, and even more amazing what has yet to be achieved,but lets not forget what amazing feats have been done to lay the ground work for the future.,keep looking up!

Tom2Mars
2004-May-06, 04:01 AM
Thanks for that story studabakahawk, and welcome to the Forum!


but lets not forget what amazing feats have been done to lay the ground work for the future
The more I read and learn, like this information from you, the more stunned I get that so much of it is left to the past. I had checked out a book from the Library on the development of the Space Shuttle, and the author had giant sections devoted to past work and pictures of vehicles and tests. Lots of great work!

Sadly, there was a picture of the Columbia on the pad before her maiden voyage showing damage where some main fuel tank insulation had fallen off and hit the vehicle...It had not even flown yet, just moved to the pad. :(

studabakahawk
2004-May-06, 04:56 AM
before the first flight, before the first hint of man conquering the skies and beyond, newton said it thus: what goes up, must come down..
my friend its the time between going up, and comming down that makes the hazards ,and the glories,all worth while.
in life we are assured of joy,pain and sorrow, and if we live long enough to see everything & everyone we have known and loved vanish.it is the time spent in between birth and death that makes the world go round.
spread your wings step off the ledge and fly it is gods gift to man.