X-51A reaches Mach 5 on first flight

 In its first flight attempt, the Boeing X-51A WaveRider unmannedaerial vehicle (UAV) successfully flew at a top speed of Mach 5 forthree and a half minutes - a mission that its creators described as thelongest supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet)-powered flight inhistory.
As its designation indicates, the WaveRider is designed to ride onits own shockwave as it flies at high-supersonic and hypersonic speeds.
The X-51A was carried aloft under the left wing of an US Air Force(USAF) Flight Test Center B-52H Stratofortress that took off fromEdwards Air Force Base, California.
An attempt to conduct the trial on the previous day had to beabandoned before the B-52 had taken off. A US Navy P-3 Orion aircraftsupporting the test had discovered a ship steaming in internationalwaters underneath a block of restricted airspace located in thevicinity of the UAV's potential splashdown zone.
The X-51A was released at around 1000 h local time while theaircraft was flying at approximately 50,000 ft over the Point MuguNaval Air Warfare Center Sea Range.
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