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Now, a hypersonic aircraft that covers 4,500mph within secs

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 00:21

London: London to New York in one hour? US military is ready to test a radical new hypersonic aircraft that can cover a distance of 4,500 mph within seconds.

The aircraft, called the X-51A Waverider, is currently being prepared at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert.

It uses a revolutionary `scramjet` engine that allows it to travel at hypersonic speeds and it will be dropped from a B-52 bomber in its latest test tommorow, the `Daily Mail` reported.

Attached to a B-52 bomber`s wing, it will be taken from Edwards to about 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean near Point Mugu.

Hypersonic flight is seen as the next step for aircraft.

The WaveRider program is estimated to cost USD 140 million, according to Globalsecurity.Org, a website for military policy research.

It has had a mixed history, with previous tests being aborted after the engine stalled.

The latest test will see the craft freefall for four seconds over the Pacific before its booster rocket engine ignites and propels the nearly wingless aircraft for 30 seconds before being jettisoned.

Then the cruiser`s scramjet engine, notable because it has virtually no moving parts, ignites.


First Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 00:06

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