Nasa X43A | hypersonic aircraft | Scramjet | mach 10 nasa | 7000 mph plane

X-43A Hypersonic Scramjet Flight
Mach 7 2004 NASA

Hyper-X Program

Highlights from the second and third test flight of the X-43A hypersonic aircraft.

Note: in the third flight test the speeds of Mach 10 (7,310 mph) were achieved by the X-43 hypersonic aircraft.

The X-43 is an unmanned experimental hypersonic aircraft with multiple planned scale variations meant to test various aspects of hypersonic flight. It was part of NASA's Hyper-X program and has set several airspeed records for jet-propelled aircraft. The X-43 is the fastest aircraft on record at approx. 7000 miles per hour (10,461 km/h).
The initial version, e 2001 failed when the stack spun out of control about 11 seconds after the drop from the B-52 carrier plane. It was destroyed by the Range Safety Officer and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. NASA attributed the crash to several inaccuracies in data modeling for this test, which led to an inadequate control system for the particular Pegasus rocket used. The X-43A's second flight was successful when it became the fastest free flying air-breathing aircraft in the world. The third flight of the X-43A set a new speed record of 10,617 km/h (6,598 mph), or Mach 9.65 at 33,528 meters (110,000 ft), on November 16, 2004. It was boosted by a modified Pegasus rocket which was launched from a B-52 mother ship at an altitude of 13,157 meters (43,166 ft). After 10 seconds of free flight, the spacecraft made a planned crash into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California. This X-plane series of aircraft was replaced by the X-51.

The X-43 was part of NASA's Hyper-X program.

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X-51A Waverider 1 mile per second Hypersonic Scramjet

The Air Force's scramjet, the Boeing X-51A Waverider, set a new world record, Wednesday, when it ran for 200 seconds, burned JP-7, and reached a speed of about Mach 5 (roughly 1 mile per second). In 2004, NASA's X-43 flew much faster (Mach 9.7) but burned hydrogen and managed that for about 12 seconds before it melted. More, here:

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X-43A Goes 7,000 MPH – Getting Ready for Mach 10

X-43A Raises the Bar to Mach 9.6
Guinness World Records recognized NASA's X-43A scramjet with a new world speed record for a jet-powered aircraft – Mach 9.6, or nearly 7,000 mph. The X-43A set the new mark and broke its own world record on its third and final flight on Nov. 16, 2004.

In March 2004, the X-43A set the previous record of Mach 6.8 (nearly 5,000 mph). The fastest air-breathing, manned vehicle, the U.S. Air Force SR-71, achieved slightly more than Mach 3.2. The X-43A more than doubled, then tripled, the top speed of the jet-powered SR-71.

The X-43 is an unmanned experimental hypersonic aircraft design with multiple planned scale variations meant to test different aspects of hypersonic flight. It is part of NASA's Hyper-X program.

A winged booster rocket with the X-43 itself at the tip, called a "stack", is launched from a carrier plane. After the booster rocket (a modified first stage of the Pegasus rocket) brings the stack to the target speed and altitude, it is discarded, and the X-43 flies free using its own engine, a scramjet.

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