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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Peter Kline, Mar 27, 2004.
Experimental hypersonic aircraft breaks world speed record, flies at Mach 7
Additional story here.
I heard about this on the radio. Only 12 feet long?? It's like a motorcycle with a quad-turbocharged 18 cylinder engine strapped to it, only a little bit faster.
So will they ever add this tech to commercial jetliners? Since it has no moving parts I wonder if it's at least quieter! The current jet engines make everyone on the plane feel uneasy (well me anyways) when I hear them roar to a deafening level.
Of course this technology if completely proven out will be in the next generation (or probably the one after that) of airliners and rockets. The article talks about that.
I could muster a bit more enthusiasm for the possibilities this holds for future commercial air travel but for the "plunging into the Pacific ocean" conclusion.
So is this thing piloted by robots, or how did they keep the operator from liquifying his/her bones?
no human passenger... the research craft flew on a pre-programmed course.
This is very much a historic event. The X-43 flew even broke the speed record set by the rocket-powered X-15 in 1967.
Remember the old "National Aerospace Plane" project? It was scrapped, and this more modest research program took its place.
Its potential for the future of both air- and spaceflight is enormous.
I'm glad to see that, because it's been seeming like the glory days of cutting edge high speed aircraft were 40 or more years ago.
NASA is certainly on a roll these days.
That B-52 has a lot of history. Look at all those drops partally obsuced by the rocket. Its the oldest B-52 still in service.
Ho hum. Mach 7 is now so passe.....
I feel a new razor add coming out soon.
scramjets are neat-O
Great shot of the B-52. The end of the article also mentions that B-52 will be retired after 40 yrs of service.
I don't believe that is entirely true, boeing has a contract submitted, maybe even accepted to overhaul the B52 fleet to fly another 40 years!
Just that particular NASA B-52 is being retired. From Space.Com:
"Tuesday's launch was expected to be the last research flight for NASA's B-52, which is being retired after some 40 years of service."
But I was unaware of Boeing extending the lifespan of these behomoths... truly amazing.
The current plan (I think) is to replace the 8 old J57 engines with four modern turbofans, which will make the B-52's both cleaner and more fuel efficient. The last estimate that I heard says the B-52 will remain on active duty past the 2030s.
I've thought they should have done this 20 years ago. Ever see a Buff takeoff, trailing plumes of black smoke?
EDIT: Man I had forgotten how old that engine really is - production began the year I was born! www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/engines/eng54.htm
Hate to segway this thread onto the B-52, but...
Isn't the problem with scramjets the fact that you have to be moving pretty fast before it even works? You still need some other kind of power to reach enough speed for it to work, right?