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X-43A aircraft

X-43A aircraft

S230/0040

Rights Managed

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Credit

NASA / DFRC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / DFRC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

X-43A aircraft being launched by a B-52B aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA on 27 March 2004, the day it broke the speed record for a jet aircraft. The unpiloted X-43A aircraft, or Hypersonic Experimental Vehicle (Hyper-X, black) is mounted on the tip of a Pegasus booster rocket (white, centre left). The X-43A is powered by a Scramjet (supersonic-combustion ramjet) engine, but requires initial rocket propulsion to reach operating speeds. During this test the X-43A aircraft reached the hypersonic speed of Mach 7 (7 times the speed of sound). Unlike rockets, scramjets use oxygen obtained from the air as the aircraft flies, potentially increasing payload.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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