The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory plans to fly the fourth and final Boeing X-51A WaveRider hypersonic engine demonstrator in mid-2013. Tests began on Oct. 26 on an actuator suspected to have caused the early end to the third flight in August. If confirmed, the fix should be “pretty simple,” says the X-51A program manager. The fourth flight will be the last chance for the X-51A to prove that a hydrocarbon-fueled, fuel-cooled scramjet engine can accelerate a missile-class vehicle to near ...


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