|AIAA Congratulates X-51A Waverider Team on Hypsersonic Flight Test
Vehicle Achieved Sustained Flight at Hypersonic Speeds
May 3, 2013 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) congratulates the X-51A Waverider Team for its successful test of the X-51A Waverider vehicle.
“Congratulations to the entire X-51 team on their tremendously successful flight,” stated Mark J. Lewis, former president of AIAA, and chairman of the AIAA Foundation. “Their near-flawless test was an amazing accomplishment, showing us that sustained air breathing hypersonic flight is not only possible, but practical. The X-51 program has advanced our knowledge and understanding of nearly every aspect of high-Mach vehicles, from fundamental understanding of materials, aerodynamics, and combustion, to the practical aspects of vehicle design, and has been a marvel of interagency-industry cooperation. Hopefully our nation will have the wisdom to build on this aviation milestone and continue the quest for operational hypersonic flight.”
During the May 1 test flight of the X-51A Waverider, the vehicle accelerated to hypersonic speeds and sustained those speeds for a duration of several minutes, demonstrating that sustained hypersonic flight is possible. It was the third and final test flight of the vehicle.
The X-51A Waverider program is a cooperative effort, bringing together the U.S. Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, The Boeing Company, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. The team is managed by the Aerospace Systems Directorate of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.