Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Successful Design Review And Engine Test Bring Boeing X-51A Closer To Flight

Illustration of the X-51A WaveRider Scramjet Engine Demonstrator.
by Staff Writers
St. Louis MO (SPX) Jun 04, 2007
Boeing's X-51A WaveRider Scramjet Engine Demonstrator recently completed a Critical Design Review (CDR) and fired its engine for the first time -- two major program milestones necessary for first flight. The X-51A program, managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate, is a consortium of the U.S. Air Force, DARPA, NASA, Boeing and Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne to demonstrate hypersonic flight capability.

Held last week in West Palm Beach, Fla., the CDR allowed government and industry officials to review and validate the vehicle's design, assembly, integration and flight test plan. The review is a critical part of the program where specifications are verified to indicate that the vehicle's design has matured to its requirements. Procurements, manufacturing and assembly processes also are established.

During the successful firing of the Pratt and Whitney X-1 demonstrator engine, test engineers used a Full Authority Digital Engine Controller to simulate flight conditions at Mach 5 air speed. Test of the hydrocarbon-fueled scramjet engine also demonstrated a closed-loop thermal management system that cools engine hardware and regulates fuel for the engine's combustor. The X-1 is the first of two ground test engines proposed for the program.

The successful completion of the CDR and X-1 ground demonstration indicates that the X-51A program is on track to proceed with its first flight tests in 2009.

"The CDR and engine test are key validation points for the X-51A program," said George Muellner, president of Boeing Advanced Systems. "The X-51A is a remarkable system that will answer many questions necessary for the development of future hypersonic propulsion vehicles that can be used for delivering payloads to space as well as for atmospheric flight applications."

"These successes are critical for the development of the X-51A," said Charlie Brink, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory X-51A program manager. "It also marks the first time that a scramjet engine was tested in its simulated 'full flight' propulsion configuration -- the Boeing-designed full vehicle fore-body inlet and nozzle."

The X-51A ground test program is being conducted at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and includes four planned test flights.

Future tests will verify engine performance and operability across the X-51A flight envelope and further characterize the closed-loop thermal management system.

Next, the X-51A team will develop a pre-first flight risk assessment that includes finalizing schedules and addressing remaining procurements, manufacturing, assembly and flight test planning.

When completed and flown, the X-51A will demonstrate scaleable scramjet engine propulsion technology, high temperature materials, airframe/engine integration and other key technologies within the hypersonic Mach 4.5 to 6.5 range. The X-51A will set the foundation for several hypersonic applications including access to space.

Work for the Boeing X-51A WaveRider is being performed by Boeing Advanced Network and Space Systems in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Related Links
Integrated Defense Systems
Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


ATK Conducts Successful Test Firing Of Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor
Promontory UT (SPX) May 28, 2007
Alliant Techsystems conducted Thursday May 24, a successful test firing of NASA's Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) as part of continuous testing to improve performance and ensure safety of the Space Shuttle, which also transfers improvements into the shuttle-derived first-stage of the Ares I crew launch vehicle.







  • Successful Design Review And Engine Test Bring Boeing X-51A Closer To Flight
  • ATK Conducts Successful Test Firing Of Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor
  • Progress Being Made On Next US Man-Rated Spacecraft
  • Airborne Systems Selected To Design Parachutes For SpaceX Rocket

  • Russia Launches Four Satellites Into Orbit For Globalstar
  • Proton-M Carrier With US Telecom Satellite To Lift Off In June
  • Arianespace Maintains Launch Campaign Pace As Another Ariane 5 GEO Truck Takes Form
  • Microgravity Enterprises Launches Commercial Payload From New Mexico Spaceport

  • NASA Says June 8 Shuttle Launch Good To Go
  • A Green Light For Atlantis To Launch June 8
  • US Shuttle Atlantis Back On Launch Pad
  • Atlantis Is Go For Rollout

  • Spacewalkers Install Debris Panels
  • Expedition 15 Prepares For Upcoming Spacewalks
  • Station Crew Unpack Progress 25
  • Another Russian Automated Space Truck Docks At Space Station

  • Fourteen Space Agencies Sign Joint Exploration Agreement
  • Science Subcommittees Focus On Ensuring Health And Vitality Of NASA Workforce
  • Malaysian Astronauts Head To NASA For Training
  • Using History To Design The Future

  • China Launches Satellite To Take TV Signal Nationwide
  • China Launches Communications Satellite SinoSat-3
  • China Aims To Launch Moon Probe This Year
  • China Approves Five-Year Space Development plan

  • Boeing Orbital Express Completes First Autonomous Free Flight And Capture
  • Robot Teams Handle Hazardous Jobs
  • Mr Roboto
  • Carnegie Mellon Unveils Internet-Controlled Robots Anyone Can Build

  • The Spirit Of Mars Continues To Astonish
  • European Meeting In Athens Fuels Future Space Exploration Missions To Mars And Moon
  • Mars Science Laboratory Less Than A Year From Assembly And Testing Phase
  • Spirit Continues Soil Analysis

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement