Hypersonic Waverider jet fails to reach Mach 6
London, August 16 (ANI): The US Air Force has announced that an attempt to fly its hypersonic jet Waverider at six times the speed of sound failed after being dropped by a B-52 bomber off the coast of California.
Engineers had hoped the X-51A Waverider would reach Mach 6, or 3,600 mph (5,800 kph) - The speed that would be fast enough to travel from London to New York in less than an hour.
During the test the experimental aircraft was supposed to maintain its top speed for five minutes.
But officials said that a faulty control fin prevented it from starting its hi-tech "scramjet" engine, and the craft was lost.
The Waverider had successfully detached from the B-52 and fired a rocket booster, but 15 seconds later control was lost and it plunged into the ocean.
"It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the scramjet engine," the Telegraph quoted Charlie Brink of the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, as saying.
The Pentagon has been testing hypersonic technologies in hopes of delivering strikes around the globe within minutes.
It was the latest failure for the Waverider. Another test flight last year also ended prematurely with it falling into the water. (ANI)
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