AIAA Congratulates X-51A Waverider Team on Hypsersonic Flight Test Written 3 May 2013

(AIAA Communciations 2008–2017)

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.

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit