Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

Nasa Scramjet Smashes Speed Record

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

Nasa Scramjet Smashes Speed Record

Old 28th Mar 2004, 10:15
  #1 (permalink)  
Brown Starfish
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Nasa Scramjet Smashes Speed Record

Are we pilots doomed as a species?

I can't paste the picture of this

I hope this is what you wanted. Heliport


Nasa Scramjet Smashes Speed Record
http://channels.aolsvc.co.uk//news/a...28034209990010

Three years after its first test flight ended in an explosion, Nasa successfully launched an experimental jet that the agency believes reached a record-setting speed of about 5,000mph.

The unpiloted X-43A made an 11-second powered flight, then went through some twists and turns during a six-minute glide before plunging into the Pacific Ocean about 400 miles off the California coast.

It was fun all the way to Mach 7, said Joel Sitz, project manager at Nasa's Dryden Flight Research Centre.

Flight engineer Lawrence Huebner said preliminary data indicated the needle-nosed jet reached a maximum speed of slightly over seven times the speed of sound, or about 5,000 mph, after a rocket boosted it to about 3,500 mph.

Huebner said it was the first time an air-breathing jet had ever travelled so fast. The rocket-powered X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in 1967.

It's a great way to end, certainly all the sweeter because of the challenges we've had to step up to and overcome through the life of this project, said Griffin Corpening, Dryden's chief engineer on the project.

The first X-43A flight ended in failure on June 2, 2001, after the modified Pegasus rocket used to accelerate the plane veered off course and was detonated.

An investigation board found pre-flight analyses failed to predict how the rocket would perform, leaving its control system unable to maintain stable flight.

Nasa built the X-43A under a 250 million dollar (£140 million) programme to develop and test an exotic type of engine called a supersonic-combustion ramjet, or scramjet.

In theory, the air-breathing engine could propel an airplane to speeds of Mach 7 or faster, enabling around-the-world flights that would take several hours.

The Pentagon is also working on the technology, which its eyeing for use in bombers that quickly could reach targets anywhere on the globe.

The 12ft long, 2,800lb X-43A was mounted on a Pegasus rocket booster and carried to an altitude of 40,000ft by a modified B-52 bomber, which took off from Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert.

A few seconds after the craft was dropped, the rocket flared, sending the jet skyward on a streak of flame and light.

At about 100,000ft, the rocket dropped away. The scramjet took over, using up about two pounds of gaseous hydrogen fuel before gliding.

Applause rang out in the control centre at Dryden Flight Research Centre at Edwards. Technological hurdles mean it will be decades before such a plane could enter service.

And Nasa's role in developing the technology remains in doubt, as the agency recently cut funding for more advanced versions of the X-43A.
 
Old 28th Mar 2004, 13:24
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Gold Coast
Age: 58
Posts: 1,611
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Already done in Australia in 2002.
Here's a link -> http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.phtml?article=3469

It hit mach 7.6.
18-Wheeler is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2004, 13:59
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Germany
Posts: 407
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Question

yea, but didn't it get destroyed during flight (theHyshot) ? could be wrong though...
mattpilot is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2004, 14:02
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Gold Coast
Age: 58
Posts: 1,611
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The first one had the booster play up, the second one in August worked well.
18-Wheeler is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2004, 15:06
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
18-Wheeler, I don't think it's a fair comparison.

The HyShot did not accelerate under its own power. It is merely an attempt to achieve combustion in supersonic flow, riding on a rocket.
The Russians have been doing this during the early 90's.
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/DTRS/1996/PDF/H-2115.pdf
Nothing really new there.

In the case of the X-43A, the vehicle was actually generating thrust, and flew autonomously.

--Machdiamond
Machdiamond is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2004, 16:07
  #6 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 2,185
Received 24 Likes on 13 Posts
Machdiamond,

I personally know the chief engineer on the Australian .Hyshot project, my understanding is that their craft did accelerate under its own power to about 2.2 km/sec (M7.6).

This was a worlds first, the US failed just days prior.

I read the report you linked, it was for proposed test, I agree many people have proposed to fly scramjet tests, however the Hyshot was the first craft I am aware of to validate computational and shock tunnel results in flight.

Hypersonic flight within the atmosphere by an air breathing engine is not common run of the mill news, thatís why this story made the press to start with, this new one flying autonomously is news worthy.

Well done guys!



P.S. Hypersonic controlled flight is not uncommon, the space shuttle does it every time its returns to earth, that still makes the news.
swh is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2004, 21:44
  #7 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 14,245
Received 54 Likes on 30 Posts
Looks like the Americans won the debrief.

Seriously, two different teams have both achieved some very impressive things with technology that could revolutionise parts of military and transport aviation in decades to come. Whether it will of-course, remains to be seen.

I don't think it'll put pilots out of work, but it might in the long term change the nature of some pilots jobs - but that's been happening constantly due to technology changes since about 1912 anyway and needs understanding rather than panicking about.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2004, 22:05
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,777
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They've still got to figure out how to get it to height and accelerate it to the point where the scramjet becomes viable. And that with a bombload or a bunch of talking freight...
FJJP is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 04:40
  #9 (permalink)  

Mostly Harmless
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Oz (cold & wet bit)
Posts: 457
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is this like the Kiwi (Richard Pease???) who flew before the Wright brothers, but Yanks only believe their own newspapers???
karrank is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 06:01
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
P.S. Hypersonic controlled flight is not uncommon, the space shuttle does it every time its returns to earth, that still makes the news



Can't say I agree with that. I would prefer to call it a controlled fall, or even a controlled crash?!?! The pilot is merely steering it in the correct direction, he has no throttle to open if he needs a bit of extra power!
FlyboyBen is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 08:02
  #11 (permalink)  
TightYorksherMan
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Peak District
Age: 41
Posts: 1,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jet that could fly to Australia in two hours

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...055286,00.html

This sounds jolly interesting

Jinkster
Jinkster is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 08:18
  #12 (permalink)  

Evertonian
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: #3117# Ppruner of the Year Nominee 2005
Posts: 12,569
Received 112 Likes on 65 Posts
I know a beer that can make it seem like 2 hours!
Buster Hyman is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 10:10
  #13 (permalink)  

Self Loathing Froggy
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: elsewhere
Age: 18
Posts: 546
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FlyboyBen

Would you mean that there are thousands of gliders flying uncontrolled around the world ?
You are scaring me, I should quit gliding right now

Are you aware that two chaps flew 2174.5 km in straight line and more 3009 km in closed circuit, sans noise generator ?

he has no throttle to open if he needs a bit of extra power
who cares if he is high enough and has a way to control energy dissipation, namely airbrakes or similar.
Bre901 is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 10:30
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Herefordshire
Posts: 545
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unhappy Jets that could fly to Australia in two hours

Mmmm ... well maybe but not in our lifetime methinks. A side-bar in the same story quotes the French GTV as doing 320 mph! Ah well, I guess a kilometre is the same as a mile to a journo. In recent years the Times and Sunday Times would have us believe that:

1: Russian designed jet-powered seaplanes were going to be built in Wales
2: Every UK airport would soon have many single-engine air taxis (Farnborough) sitting and just waiting for pax to arrive.
3: A US company was about to certificate and sell "flying cars" capable of 350kts, vertical take-off and landing & operation by folks without flying experience or training. It's all done by computers you know.

And to think that the great unwashed believe every word of it. bm
BoeingMEL is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 10:35
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cucumber Heaven
Posts: 61
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm told the next one aims for Mach 10 - almost as fast as a Ryan Air 737 on a taxiway
yintsinmerite is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 11:07
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bre901,

I was trying to say that there was no real comparison between controlling what is effectively a shuttle falling out of the sky (I've never seen or heard about one trying to gain height on thermals!!!) with this scramjet flying at Mach 7 under it's own steam.

I am fully aware how gliders work having gained many hours myself as a youngster.

Some people on this website are far to padantic and nit-picky!!!!

CHILL OUT!
FlyboyBen is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 13:23
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sandwich, Kent, UK
Posts: 156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you meant "pedantic".

(sorry, someone had to do it)
CBLong is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 14:19
  #18 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 2,185
Received 24 Likes on 13 Posts
Flyboyben,

Umm, the shuttle gets into space under its own power .... it does "throttle up" and roll on its way into space.

I take my hat off to NASA for this flight, and the space shuttle, I find them amazing pieces of technology.

The X43 also "glided back" to earth...not sure what you point is here...

For you info, this is a general accepted definition of the term flight ...

The motion of an object in or through a medium, especially through the earth's atmosphere or through space.
An instance of such motion.
The distance covered in such motion.

The act or process of flying through the air by means of wings.
The ability to fly.
A swift passage or movement.
A scheduled airline run or trip.
A group, especially of birds or aircraft, flying together.
A number of aircraft in the U.S. Air Force forming a subdivision of a squadron.
A round of competition, as in a sports tournament.
An exuberant or transcendent effort or display
A series of stairs rising from one landing to another.
swh is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 19:33
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Gold Coast
Age: 58
Posts: 1,611
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is this like the Kiwi (Richard Pease???) who flew before the Wright brothers, but Yanks only believe their own newspapers???

Yep, the very same thing.
18-Wheeler is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2004, 19:45
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 642
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BoeingMEL

Journos may know nothing about flying, but the TGV figures are correct!

"On 18 May, 1990, the last scheduled day of testing, the TGV Atlantique hit a top speed of 515.3 km/h (320.3 mph), setting a new world speed record"

Source: h2g2
Pax Vobiscum is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.