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USAF will attempt hypersonic flight for the fourth time

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | November 25, 2012

USAF will attempt hypersonic flight for the fourth time

U.S. military plans fourth test of X-51A Waverider aircraft.

The U.S. military is hoping that the fourth time will be the charm when it comes to its experimental hypersonic flight program, following a third failed attempt to achieve Mach 6, according to a report from The Associated Press.

Once a year since 2010, the Air Force has conducted a test of the unmanned, experimental X-51A Waverider aircraft, the most recent attempt coming two months ago. During the test, the X-51A is carried up and then dropped from a B-52 bomber, after which it is supposed to ignite its rocket booster. It then jettisons the booster, and activates its exotic scramjet engine.

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