Scramjet graphicSource: New Scientist, May 15-21, 2010

Straight outta the pages of CONTAGIOUS comes the X-51, a new "scramjet" designed to hit Mach 6 for up to five minutes. Scramjets have hit speeds as high as Mach 10, but only for a few seconds. 

In the last week of May, 2010, thousands of square miles of airspace will be cleared out for this test of the X-51. Everyone will watch and get excited, then scientists will do what scientists do, which is gather data. This is similar to Carlos Santana in the song "Santana DVX" saying, "I see you bitches is enjoying my sparkling wine!"

In CONTAGIOUS, President Guiterrez authorizes the use of the HTV-6Xb, an experimental fighter designed to fly at Mach 10. At that speed, the HTV-6Xb, also known as "The Wasp," can cover 1,700 miles -- from Groom Lake, NV to South Bend, IN -- in 15 minutes.

How do it work? Excerpt from CONTAGIOUS:
This particular combat mission didn’t take a great deal of skill. Lindeman had taken off on a northwest heading, flown to 10,000 feet, then come around in a slow turn that pointed his nose towards South Bend, Indiana. The conventional jet turbine engines drove the Wasp to Mach 2. At that speed, turbines’ the air inlets closed off, forcing that same air intake into the scramjet engines. The turbines had to shut off, because once the plane reached Mach 3 or so, air friction would melt the spinning intake fans. The scramjet portion, however, was more like a funnel — it had no moving parts. Air shot in a supersonic speeds, compressed, mixed with a gaseous fuel, and ignited in a highly controlled reaction that drove the plane to mach 10.

13 Comments

On Edited

It's like a rocket with a seat!

Slim Pickens, eat your heart out!

 

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Gutter Sistren whipping boy, innoventor of words, Life Coach to the Damned.

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Gutter Sistren whipping boy, innoventor of words, Life Coach to the Damned.

On Edited

Damn!~

I have got to get me one of those!

 

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Head Coach

Wabash Wolfpack

 

On Edited

Do you think I could just hi-jack one of those and take off?

The things I could do with one of those....  Er...hypothetically speaking, in an alternate universe - of course!

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Captain of the Touchback and Proud member of the Gutter Sistren

The Pure Essence of Randomness, Captain of the Touchback, and Proud member of the Gutter Sistren

On Edited

Slim Pickens ref, FTW!

And it's not "like" a rocket with a seat, it just fucking is. 

On Edited

Got to Love the Aerospace Reference.

though I design turbines so I'm sad to see them out of the equation, this is some kick-ass tech! 

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Owner of the Themela Dreadnaughts - Winners of the 2683 Planet Division

All Hail the FDØ!
On Edited

Approves

**Conjunction Junction, what's your function? No seriously, I slept through grammar class, so I have no idea what you do.**

I am crazier than a padded room full of Charlie Mansons! Sgt. Renee Jordan PUMC, PUV James Keeling
On Edited

sigh...

 I love new aircraft but I'll till be sad when they replace my F-15s and F-16s...

 

Molly McButters is my Homeboy!

 

 

Molly McButters is my Homeboy!

On Edited

F-22 Raptor and the Comanche

Now those are programs which make me Cry.  The F-22 can go Super Son WITHOUT an afterburner, and the will never make any more.  The Comanche was going to be a STEALTH heliocopter.  A Mother-Shucking-STEALTH heliocopter!  and it was cancelled.  Such a shame, that level of tech should be revered. 

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Owner of the Themela Dreadnaughts - Winners of the 2683 Planet Division

All Hail the FDØ!
On Edited

That made me very happy

I love that picture, thanks for putting it in here. Contextual humor rules.

On Edited

Making me feel old.

I still miss the F-4N.

 

[flickr-photo:id=3383210176,size=m]
Head Coach

Wabash Wolfpack

 

On Edited

f-22

that may be but trust me... those 22's are bad. we're better off without them, just learning from the mistakes, and moving on. As for the Comanche, I can't say I'm a fighter crew chief...

 

 

Molly McButters is my Homeboy!

 

 

Molly McButters is my Homeboy!

On Edited

You ever hear about

the Israeli F-15 pilot who lost almost his entire starboard wing in a hostile engagement, but managed to fly back to base and sucessfully land it? Go here to see a youtube vid from a History Channel show documenting the encounter. It's a real testament to the ruggedness and airframe design of the old Strike Eagle.

**Conjunction Junction, what's your function? No seriously, I slept through grammar class, so I have no idea what you do.**

I am crazier than a padded room full of Charlie Mansons! Sgt. Renee Jordan PUMC, PUV James Keeling
On Edited

SR71 Blackbird for me...

The Irishman from Ohio

The Irishman from Ohio

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