Feeds

X-51 hypersonic scramjet flight delayed by errant freighter

Lucky escape for wandering mariners

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The X-51A Waverider scramjet test scheduled for yesterday has been delayed for 24 hours by a freighter wandering into the Pacific firing range where the trial flight is to take place.

According to a statement issued by US spokesmen at Edwards airforce base - where the X-51's launch aircraft, a modified B-52 bomber operated by NASA, is based - the test required clear seas across the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range several hundred miles off the Californian coast.

The statement goes on:

A US Navy P-3 Orion aircraft supporting the test was safety scanning the Pacific Ocean test range for shipping traffic shortly after 9 am Pacific time when its crew discovered a ship steaming in international waters underneath a block of restricted airspace located in the vicinity of the X-51A's potential splashdown zone.

Weather permitting, the X-51A will make its first hypersonic flight attempt May 26.

Planned firings and tests are notified to mariners through a warning system which professional seafarers pay attention to, but there are lots of unprofessional seafarers plying the oceans of the world: and ultimately the US government can't force ships to keep clear of range areas like Point Mugu located in international waters. Hence the test postponement.

The X-51A, if successful, will be the first scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) to operate successfully outside the wind tunnel on hydrocarbon fuel - as opposed to troublesome hydrogen. Its technology could revolutionise high-speed missiles, and in the longer term lead to hypersonic aircraft and fully re-usable spaceplanes. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.