For those who don’t already know, the Boeing X-51A WaveRider is essentially an unmanned scramjet aircraft for hypersonic flight testing. On May 1, 2013, the X-51 performed its first fully successful flight test on its fourth test flight. The X-51 and booster detached from a B-52 and was powered to Mach 4.8 by a booster rocket. It then separated cleanly from the booster and ignited its own engine, accelerating to Mach 5.1. Continue reading for the video and more information.
The flight lasted for 240 seconds until it ran out of fuel, breaking the record for longest air-breathing hypersonic flight. Researchers collected flight telemetry data for 370 seconds. The Air Force Research Laboratory believes the successful flight will serve as research for practical applications of hypersonic flight. This test signified the completion of the program.