2010年5月27日木曜日

X51A初飛行

X51Aが初飛行した。
 米空軍が、地球上のあらゆる場所を1時間以内に攻撃できる超音速航空機
X51Aウエーブライダーの初飛行実験を行うことが分かった。巡航ミサイルを
モデルとした無人攻撃機で、洞窟に潜むテロリストや敵基地を軍事衛星の
誘導で“奇襲攻撃”する21世紀型の新兵器。2020年ごろの配備を目指す。

経過
・エドワーズ空軍基地からX51Aを取付けたB-52Hが離陸
・南カリフォルニア海岸沖でB-52Hが高度49,500ft
・10:10 B-52HからX51Aを切り離し、固定ブースター点火
・マッハ4.8で飛行し、高度65,000ftで固定ブースター切り離し、
 スクラムジェットエンジン始動
・高度70,000ftでマッハ5
・マッハ5で140秒飛行
・3秒以上の遠隔操作未通信で自爆

結果は、優秀ではなかったが、良好だったと判断したようだ。
目標は、マッハ6での飛行とのこと。
一部では、マッハ6で約3分飛行との報道がある。
SR-71はマッハ3での飛行が報道されていたが、その倍の速さで、地球半周を
1時間以内で到着できるらしい。
OPLAN8010によると、小型核弾頭の開発を進めているらしいので、敵国が
液体燃料を充填にした頃に、爆撃し破壊することができるようになる。
X51A試作機を4機作って、この試験で一機が完了。
来年また試験とのことだ。
米軍産複合体は、米国民だけでなく、他国から金巻上げて資金が豊富だ。

OPLAN8010
オバマ NPT方針公表


Hypersonic Weapon


X-51A WaveRider hypersonic scramjet testbed


Boeing X-51 WaveRider Scramjet Engine Demonstrator


U.S. X-51 WaveRider Readies For Flight


Boeing X-51 Waverider Makes Historic Hypersonic Mach 6 Flight


---どこでも1時間以内に攻撃! 米軍、超音速無人機の実験に成功---
2010.5.27 11:50
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/america/100527/amr1005271151007-n1.htm

 米空軍は26日、地球のどこであっても1時間以内に攻撃できる通常兵器の開発に向け、超音速無人機「X51Aウエーブライダー」(全長4・2メートル)の飛行実験を西部カリフォルニア沖で実施、成功したと発表した。
 空軍によると、X51Aは同日午前、B52戦略爆撃機で上空約1万5千メートルまで運ばれ、加速用のロケットを分離した後の約3分間の飛行中に最高で音速の6倍(マッハ6)を記録した。空軍や米ボーイング社などが共同開発している。
 オバマ政権は核兵器削減を進める一方で、アフガニスタンの洞窟(どうくつ)に潜むテロリストでも1時間以内に狙い撃ちできる新たな通常兵器「通常型即応グローバルストライク(CPGS)」の開発で抑止力を維持する戦略を構想している。(共同)


---X-51A Waverider reaches Mach 5 in 140 second scramjet flight---
27/05/10
By John Croft
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/05/27/342468/x-51a-waverider-reaches-mach-5-in-140-second-scramjet.html

Researchers today achieved the longest ever supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight this morning off the coast of California before controllers at the Point Mugu naval air warfare centre sea range terminated the mission due to a loss of telemetry. The previous longest scramjet burn in a flight test was 12 seconds in a hydrogen-based engine in the NASA X-43.

Pilots Lt. Col. Danny Millman and Maj. Swami Iyer of the 419th flight test squadron at the Edwards Air Force Base carried the Boeing-built and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne-powered scramjet under the wing of the B-52H carrier to approximately 49,500ft (15,088m) and released the vehicle, the first four to be tested, at 10:10 am local time, according to Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The program is being run by AFRL along with the Defence Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) and NASA.

Brink says preliminary data shows that the separation from the B-52H was "phenomenal" and the solid booster light, which accelerates the X-51 to Mach 4.8, was "perfect". At 65,000ft the booster separated from the vehicle as planned, followed by the start of the scramjet engine with an ethylene mix and switchover to JP-7 fuel. The vehicle accelerated to Mach 5 at 70,000ft, exhibiting nominal guidance and control functions.

While the program had a goal for a 300 second flight to Mach 6, Brink says that at roughly 140 seconds of powered flight, engineers "started noticing some anomalies with some sensors". The engine continued to run, but the telemetry stream to the ground was interrupted, requiring controllers to activate the self-destruct function once per procedures after a telemetry dropout of more than 3 seconds.

Despite the shorter flight, the team was exhilarated over the results. "Up until 140 seconds, everything was working textbook, per calculations", says Joe Vogel, Boeing's X-51A program manager.

Brink says engineers will review data for the remainder of the fiscal year and the program will likely pick up with flight tests in October or November, incorporating any required lessons learned from today's flight.


---First X-51A Hypersonic Flight Deemed Success---
May 26, 2010
By Graham Warwick,Washington
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/awx/2010/05/26/awx_05_26_2010_p0-230043.xml&headline=First%20X-51A%20Hypersonic%20Flight%20Deemed%20Success

First flight of the Boeing X-51A Waverider hypersonic demonstrator is being hailed as a success, although the scramjet-powered vehicle did not achieve the planned flight duration.

The X-51A was released from its B-52 mothership over the Pacific off the California coast on May 25. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory told AVIATION WEEK the booster-and-cruiser “stack” separated from the B-52 and the booster ignited. Subsequently the booster separated, the scramjet engine ignited and the cruiser accelerated.

The Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne hydrocarbon-fuelled, fuel-cooled scramjet engine was planned to run for 300 seconds, accelerating the X-51A from about Mach 4.5 to beyond Mach 6. The actual duration of the flight and maximum Mach number achieved have not yet been released. The vehicle splashed down in the Pacific.

The first flight was “a solid B”, says an AFRL spokesman. “We’ll get an A next time.”

Three more flights are planned, the next in 2011.

---X-51A scramjet engine has first flight test---
Posted 5/26/2010 Updated 5/26/2010
http://www.edwards.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123206533

5/26/2010 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- It's been a long time in the works, the X-plane first made its mark in history in the late 1940s, when, as a single-piloted aircraft, it was the first to fly faster than the speed of sound. This week another X-plane made its mark when the X-51A, an unmanned scramjet engine demonstrator made its first flight May 26.

Taking off from Edwards at 9:20 Wednesday morning, a modified Boeing B-52H soared majestically through the High Desert skies carrying the X-51 WaveRider to the long-awaited test site over the Pacific Ocean.

Using an expendable solid rocket booster, the X-51 WaveRider was launched from under the wing of the B-52 at about 50,000 feet above the ocean.

Powered by a supersonic combustion scramjet engine, after dropping away from the launch vehicle, the scramjet accelerated to speeds in excess of Mach 4, (approximately 4,000 mph).

Once the vehicle reached speeds above Mach 4, the booster jettisoned and the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne-built scramjet engine ignited as planned and accelerated the X-51A to a supersonic speed of Mach 5.

The test flight ended just under the planned five minutes, but the X-51 successfully transmitted important test data to ground stations before splashing down into the ocean and breaking apart.

Although the flight didn't achieve its full duration, it did perform a successful separation, boost engine light and acceleration, according to Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Propulsion Directorate at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Mr. Brink said the X-Team received a lot of good information from Wednesday's test, "We got a bunch of good data to pour over," he said.

He said his assessment for their first attempt is a solid B, and added, "We'll get that A the next time."

Officials won't know when the next flight test will be scheduled until they review all the data collected.

"The X-51 has demonstrated an entirely new engine capable of operating higher and faster than previous technology allowed," said Brig. Gen. William J. Thornton, commander of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards.

The general explained that the scramjet engine operates hypersonically at speeds greater than Mach 5 and has no moving parts.

He said some significant advances of the X-51 over previous hypersonic tests are that the X-51A maintained over 4 minutes of engine burn duration, which, previous tests had only 10 seconds engine burn.

General Thornton said the acceleration of the vehicle through a range of speeds, and the fact that the engine will burn a hydrocarbon jet fuel instead of the more exotic fuels that previous tests have used, are all significant advances.

"This test opens the door for hypersonic weapons capable of prompt global strike, hypersonic air transport, and may someday lead to more economical access to space. This is another game changer from the 412th Test Wing and Edwards -- this one in the hypersonic field -- with potential broad applications across the global strike, ISR and weapons spectrum," General Thornton said.

The X-51A program is a collaborative effort of the Air Force Research Laboratory and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and its industry partners, The Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.


---米軍の超音速機X51Aが25日に初飛行へ 1時間以内に敵基地撃破の新兵器---
2010.5.23 01:20
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/america/100523/amr1005230120001-n1.htm

 【ワシントン=佐々木類】米空軍が25日、地球上のあらゆる場所を1時間以内に攻撃できる超音速航空機X51Aウエーブライダーの初飛行実験を行うことが分かった。巡航ミサイルをモデルとした無人攻撃機で、洞窟(どうくつ)に潜むテロリストや敵基地を軍事衛星の誘導で“奇襲攻撃”する21世紀型の新兵器だ。2020年ごろの配備を目指す。
 X51Aは米ボーイング社などが03年から開発に本格着手した。「通常即応グローバルストライク」(PGS)と呼ばれるミサイル兵器の一種で、B52戦略爆撃機に搭載。発射後、5万フィート(約1万5千メートル)の高高度まで上昇し、マッハ5(時速約6120キロ)で滑空する無人攻撃機だ。アフガニスタンの洞窟に潜むテロリストや、発射台に設置された北朝鮮のミサイル、イランの核関連施設を1時間以内に攻撃できる。
 通常兵器による攻撃の所要時間は最大で96時間かかるとされ、大幅な時間の短縮となる。
 米空軍は25日、天候が良ければ、カリフォルニア州エドワーズ空軍基地からB52に搭載、南カリフォルニア海岸沖で5分間の飛行実験を行う。


---米空軍X51A開発 オバマ政権、新型通常兵器で抑止力を維持---
2010.5.23 01:20
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/america/100523/amr1005230120002-n1.htm

 【ワシントン=佐々木類】初の飛行実験を25日に行う米空軍の超音速航空機X51Aは、核兵器を削減する一方で新たな通常兵器の実戦配備により軍事的優位を確保し、これを抑止力とするオバマ政権の新戦略の柱となる。
 オバマ政権は4月、「核戦略体制の見直し」(NPR)の中で、核兵器削減など軍事戦略の大胆な方針転換に踏み切った。NPRは同時に、原子力潜水艦に搭載可能な核搭載型巡航ミサイル「トマホーク」の退役も発表。「核の傘」への懸念を示す日本側に対し、大陸間弾道ミサイル(ICBM)や潜水艦発射弾道ミサイル(SLBM)で抑止力をカバーするとしていた。
 こうした大胆な戦略転換を可能とした背景に、「地球の裏側でも1時間以内に攻撃できる」(米空軍研究所)という、通常即応グローバルストライク(PGS)と呼ばれるX51Aの開発成功があった。
 米空軍研究所などによると、X51Aはトマホークの7倍の速さでグライダーのように滑空し、アラビア海上空から国際テロ組織アルカーイダが潜伏するとみられるアフガン内陸部まで約20分間で到達、目標をピンポイントで撃破する能力を持つ。このため、「核兵器の役割を縮小しながらも抑止力を維持することができる」(ケビン・チルトン米戦略軍司令官)という。
 ただ、高高度を飛ぶX51Aが核弾頭を搭載しているかどうか識別が難しく、米国による先制核ミサイル攻撃と誤判断する恐れがあると、ロシアは反発している。


---X-51A flight planned May 25---
Posted 5/20/2010 Updated 5/20/2010
by Derek Kaufman
88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
http://www.afmc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123205546

5/20/2010 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Weather permitting, Air Force officials said the X-51A Waverider will make its first hypersonic flight test attempt May 25, after it's released by a B-52 bomber off the southern California coast.

The X-51A program is a collaborative effort of the Air Force Research Laboratory, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, with industry partners The Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

The unmanned X-51A is expected to fly autonomously for five minutes, powered by a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine, accelerating to about Mach 6 and transmitting vast amounts of data to ground stations before breaking up after splashing down into the Pacific, as planned. There are no plans to recover the flight test vehicle, one of four built.

"In those 300 seconds, we hope to learn more about hypersonic flight with a practical scramjet engine than all previous flight tests combined," said Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager with AFRL's Propulsion Directorate here.

The shark-like shape of the 14-foot-long X-51A cruiser gives a hint to the technologies it is designed to explore, Mr. Brink said. Virtually wingless, it is designed to ride its own shockwave, thus the nickname, Waverider. The heart of the system is its Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SJY61 scramjet engine, but other key technologies that will be demonstrated by the X-51A include thermal protection systems materials, airframe and engine integration, and high-speed stability and control.

Officials said the X-51A program will pave the way to hypersonic weapons and future access to space. Since scramjets are able to burn atmospheric oxygen, they don't need to carry large fuel tanks containing oxidizer like conventional rockets and are being explored as a way to more efficiently launch payloads into orbit.

The X-51 will depart Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. and be carried aloft under the wing of a B-52H belonging to the Air Force Flight Test Center. It will be released at approximately 50,000 feet over the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range. A solid rocket booster will accelerate the X-51A to approximately Mach 4.5, before being jettisoned.

The May 25 hypersonic test will actually be the third time the X-51 has flown, but in each previous instance it has remained attached to the B-52's wing. The first captive carry flight Dec. 9, 2009, verified the B-52's high-altitude performance and handling qualities with the X-51 attached and tested communications and telemetry systems. The other flight, intended essentially as a dress rehearsal for the hypersonic flight, took place earlier this year.

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