Faster Than a Speeding Bullet : Air Force Tests Fastest Unmanned Aircraft

Not to be outdone by their Mars roving compatriots, Jason’s Koebler’s article, “Air Force’s ‘Waverider’ Could Cross Atlantic in an Hour” in U.S. News online reported about the U.S. Air Force’s test flights of a new kind of unmanned aircraft, the X-51A Waverider, which is expected to be able to reach mach 6 today, or 6 times the speed of sound. That is approximately 4,500 mph, folks, and that is REALLY fast!  Just for some perspective, the supersonic Concorde jet could only go about 1,500 mph, and a bullet can travel the equivalent of about 800 to 1500 mph, on average.

This aircraft uses an engine with no moving parts and a hydrogen fuel that ignites with oxygen in the air to propel it on its own sonic wave.

That’s neat!

Obviously, there will be no human test pilots for this projectile. Frankly, I honestly don’t see how this could, in any way, make for a comfortable commute from New York to Paris, which they estimate would take this aircraft about an hour. I imagine passengers plastered to their seats and the food cart blasting a hole through the tail of the plane, like in a cartoon. I don’t believe humans were supposed to reach that kind of velocity, and I think there would be some kind of biological fallout if one were to ride at those speeds for extended periods of time.

To read the article, “Air Force’s ‘Waverider’ Could Cross Atlantic in an Hour, “click here =>

 

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