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The Air Force tests the X-51 Waverider….. which did a cool 3,500 MPH!

The Hypersonic X-51 Waverider, a Scramjet test aircraft was dropped from a B-52 and fired up for a 200 seconds (3.33 minute ) flight before ditching in the Pacific Ocean…..

An aircraft resembling a large bodyboard detached from a flying B-52 bomber and then shot across the Pacific on Wednesday at more than 3,500 mph, shattering aviation records and reigniting decades-long efforts to develop a vehicle that could travel faster than a speeding bullet.

The unmanned X-51 WaveRider, powered by an air-breathing hypersonic engine that has virtually no moving parts, was launched midair off the coast near Point Mugu. It sped westward for 200 seconds before plunging into the ocean as planned. Previous attempts at hypersonic flights lasted no more than 10 seconds.

“Everything went very well for a first flight,” said Charlie Brink, the X-51 program manager for the Air Force. “For things to go off the way they did, we’re confident this technology has a bright future.”

Since the 1960s, the Air Force has been flirting with hypersonic technology, which can propel vehicles at a velocity that cannot be achieved from traditional turbine-powered jet engines.

But the technology has been exceedingly difficult to perfect. Previous attempts produced very limited results including flights that lasted only a few seconds, said Peter Wilson, senior defense analyst with Rand Corp.

It has held great promise, however. A passenger aircraft powered by hypersonic engines could fly from Los Angeles to New York in 30 minutes. It also could travel faster than existing cruise missiles.

With the technology, the military could strike anywhere on planet within an hour or less, said John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, a website for military policy research.

“The WaveRider represents a major change that could have big implications on today’s weapon systems,” he said. “It can travel great distances at remarkable speeds, showing potential for a long-range cruise missile.”

The aircraft is being developed for the Air Force by engineers at Boeing Co.’s Phantom Works research center in Long Beach and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in Canoga Park. The vehicle has been undergoing tests at Edwards Air Force Base.

“This is truly transformational technology,” Brink said. “This engine can be considered the next step in aviation. It’s as big of leap as it was when we went from propellers to jet engines.”

Like many other test flights of new aircraft, the WaveRider was launched from a B-52 flying at 50,000 feet after it had been carried aloft attached to the bomber’s wing.

About 9 a.m. Wednesday, the WaveRider detached from the wing, falling for about four seconds before its booster rocket engine ignited and propelled the WaveRider to more than 70,000 feet. It then separated from the booster and sped across the sky reaching 3,500 mph.

Although the launch was considered successful, it did not reach a goal that the Air Force had set. It was hoping for the plane to reach 4,200 mph and fly for five minutes.

“We fell a little bit short, but this was the first one out of the gate,” Brink said. “We still have three more of these vehicles to work the kinks out.”


I wonder if it broke  the Aurora speed record?

May 27, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Updates | , , , , | Leave a comment

Daniel with Part 1,2 and 3 of the May 18 Primary Primer…… A Viewers Guide for Kentucky, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Oregon………..

Hello Folks!

Today is  “The Dogs” GIGANTIC Multiple State Primaries  ………..IT’S TIME to preview our “HOT RACES” for this May18th.

We’ll will have the “Special Election Night Results Thread” starting at 5pm ET on May 18th + GET READY FOR A POTENTIALLY VERY LONG NIGHT.

To keep EVERYBODY updated about those 4 States here is the Viewer Guide:

Kentucky (Bluegrass State): First Polls close at 6pm ET and all Polls will be closed at 7pm ET:

Two “Hot Races” here:

KY-SEN Republican Primary:

Establishment Candidate C. M. “Trey” Grayson vs. Challenger Dr. Randall “Rand” Paul

Will the Tea Parties claim another Scalp of Republicans? Republican Senate Minority Leader  Mitch McConnell (R-KY) handpicked Grayson for this Race, yet the Kentucky Secretary of State ran a horrible Campaign to date and didn’t really connect with Conservative Voters. Paul is leading in the Polls from anywhere between 10-15 Points.

I expect Paul to prevail over Grayson 45-35.

KY-SEN Democratic Primary:

Lt. Governor Daniel “Dr. Dan” Mongiardo vs. Attorney General Jack Conway

Mongiardo was endorsed by his Chief Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) early on in this Campaign while Attorney General Conway ramped up the Washington Insider Endorsements from the DSCC and his two Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler. Auditor “Crit” Luallen endorsed him also. Both, Chandler and Luallen themselves briefly considered jumping into this Race. Conway was pretty much flat-footed until the Final Weeks of the Campaign and closed the early Polling Gap with Mongiardo.
Will it be enough?

Toss-Up Race for me. Impossible to predict a Winner. Race could go into the later Hours of the Evening. I will re-evaluate this Race over the coming Days.

KY 6th Congressional District (Incumbent Democrat A. B. “Ben” Chandler):

6 Republicans vying to face Chandler in the Fall with former Attorney & Congressional Aide Andy Barr (R-KY) looking the strongest Candidate. Until the Defeat of Rep. Mollohan in WV Chandler had little to fear. Now that Mollohan was defeated and KY-6 borders WV-1 this Seat could move in more competitive Regions.

I expect Barr to prevail over his 5 Challengers.

Daniel G.

Note:…….There are two more parts to the May 18 preview….check below…….

Daniel’s Page #2…….Link……..Pennsylvana and Oregon

Daniel’s Page #3…….Link……..Arkansas

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Open thread, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Projections, Updates | , , , , , , , , , | 65 Comments