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Thursday, May 27, 2010

US Air Force tests hypersonic cruise missile


The US Air Force on Wednesday test launched a hypersonic cruise missile, with the vehicle accelerating to Mach 6 before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, officials said.

The Air Force said the test flight of the X-15A Waverider lasted more than 200 seconds, the longest ever hypersonic flight powered by scramjet propulsion. The previous record was 12 seconds in a NASA X-43 vehicle.

"We are ecstatic to have accomplished most of our test points on the X-51A's very first hypersonic mission," Charlie Brink, program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

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