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View Full Version : Discussion: NASA Scramjet Hits Mach 9.8



Fraser
2004-Nov-17, 07:59 PM
SUMMARY: The X-43A scramjet broke its own world record for air breathing engines on Tuesday, when it traveled at nearly 10 times the speed of sound. The prototype scramjet aircraft was dropped from a B-52 aircraft, and then boosted to Mach 4 by a Pegasus rocket. The aircraft detached from the rocket and then accelerated up to Mach 9.8 (11,265 kph or 7,000 mph). This flight was the last in a series of three test flights by NASA in the development of its Hyper-X program, which explores alternatives to rocket power for access to space.

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antoniseb
2004-Nov-17, 08:11 PM
It is interesting that this story makes it clear that the scramjet actually accelerated the craft from Mach 4 to Mach 9.8. There's a lot of doubt in the various stories I've read about this. This looks great!

kashi
2004-Nov-18, 12:42 AM
Do you think there is potential for this technology to replace current commercial passenger aircraft? How many times faster is this than the fastest passenger jets?

antoniseb
2004-Nov-18, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by kashi@Nov 18 2004, 12:42 AM
Do you think there is potential for this technology to replace current commercial passenger aircraft? How many times faster is this than the fastest passenger jets?
This is not going for the same niche market as commercial jets. Basically you need something to get you up to 70,000 feet flying Mach 4, and this will get you going up to Mach 18 [maybe more]. Mach 18 is about 20 times faster than the fastest commercial jets in service today, and 9 times faster than the Concorde was.

At Mach 18 you could get any runway on the planet in an hour, but it would cost a LOT of money.

Anomander
2004-Nov-18, 03:20 PM
Is Mach 4 the slowest speed needed for a scramjet to start working?

And is 70,000 the minimum height of did they just do it this high for safety reasons?

kdhrocks
2004-Nov-19, 01:19 AM
This morning I spent some time catching up on the news from the Mars Rover mission and it got me to thinking about all of the failures in past Mars missions. The Rovers have tripled their design life and keep on chugging along. Then on top of that we have the succesfull completion of the X43 project absolutly fantastic accomplishment with no way to test the designs of the airframe and engines beyond a certain speed.The Apolo missions and last but not least The Pioneer spacecraft. They all have one thing in common, the same budget restraints, the same management problems, the same quality problems and last but not least Mr. Murphy is very much alive. Why can't we fix the shuttle so that we quit killing our shuttle crews? Why do we have the Beagle abserditys? Our own fantastic Genesis after a 3 year flight landing right in the middle of the target zone in Utah only to have it crash right in front of worldwide TV because the the acceleromoters were put in backwards 4 years ago! I just don't understand. I was an aircraft mech for 30 years half of that time as an Inspector and the buck stops at the flightline. Period!
Dave