August 15th, 2012
02:41 PM ET

Air Force's hypersonic test fails

By Mike Mount

A hypersonic aircraft launched by the Air Force Tuesday spiraled out of control and was destroyed before it could reach its goal of speeding to 4,600 mph, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

The third test of the X-51A Waverider was launched Tuesday off the California coast from a B-52 modified bomber aircraft and was to fly for 300 seconds, reaching hypersonic speeds of Mach 6, but only flew for 16 seconds, according to the Air Force.

Officials said a problem with a tail fin caused the missile-like vehicle to fly out of control before the main engine could be ignited, leading researchers to destroy it early.

"A fault was identified with one of the cruiser control fins. Once the X-51 separated from the rocket booster, approximately 15 seconds later, the cruiser was not able to maintain control due to the faulty control fin and was lost," said a statement issued by the Air Force.

It's unclear what, if any, information was gleaned from the test. According to the statement, "Program officials will now begin the process of working through a rigorous evaluation to determine the exact cause of all factors at play."

The Air Force plans to go public with details of the failed test in a few weeks, after researchers are able to analyze the data from the flight.

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"It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the Scramjet engine," said Charlie Brink, X-51A Program Manager for Air Force Research Laboratory. "All our data showed we had created the right conditions for engine ignition and we were very hopeful to meet our test objectives."

The Air Force had four X-51A Waveriders and has tested three. Officials said they do not yet know when or if the fourth Waverider will be tested.

Recommended: Hypersonic flight, what does it mean?

soundoff (1,902 Responses)
  1. JJ

    Hey, I'm all for this...but I would love to know how much that 30 second flight just cost all of us taxpayers.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
    • You Bet

      Read Much? It cost 140 million dollars.

      If you want to know how much your daddy had to pay for his share, ask him to look it up.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
  2. jcvet33

    I'm sure the computers and other electronics that caused the malfunction were made in China.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
  3. michaelfury

    "spiraled out of control"

    Count on it.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:06 am | Reply
    • Caveman

      This technology is of the stone age. It requires the burning of oxygen in the atmosphere and cannot fly in space due to that restriction. At best, this engine could be used to reach escape velocity but then solid rocket boosters would then have to take over again once in space. As far as I'm concerned, Nikola Tesla already designed the most perfect flying vehicle in history which is still under wraps.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply
      • R.L.Taintor III

        tesla was a very smart man its just to bad we slay or dreamers

        August 16, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  4. Grey

    Overheard on the assembly floor several months back... "Hey, where'd this bolt come from?"

    August 16, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
  5. andrewr770

    Darn it! The scramjet has amazing potential, and it is a shame that the failure of the test was due to a CONTROL FIN and not a materials problem (at extreme speed) or with the jet itself. This failure isn't going to tell the developers much because it doesn't sound like it was related to anything experimental. Hopefully they can successfully test the fourth one once they figure out what went wrong with this test.

    August 16, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
  6. musclecar61

    Failure is how we make success one step at a time. Back in the 50's and 60's we had multiple failures in our rocket program but we did not quit and overcame the failures. American technology is the best in the world and to coin a phrase to go where no man has gone before doesn't happen over night. I feel for certain just like the early rocket failure we will succede with this aircraft.

    August 16, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
    • realist_drib

      we also had the government standing behind nasa......

      August 16, 2012 at 7:36 am | Reply
  7. pbsat

    Great attemmpt! Keep trying, remember Wright Brothers and Edison also failed before they became great!

    August 16, 2012 at 5:41 am | Reply
  8. power4things

    The only thing that worked was the B-52 designed 60 years ago.

    August 16, 2012 at 5:35 am | Reply
    • scott

      It's incredible. Not only that, but the last one rolled off the production line half a century ago, and they're planned to continue serving until 2050 at the earliest.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • Greg

      And your grandma was continent when she changed your diaper when you shat yourself...same difference. Should we have scrapped you and given her kudos for being the only one of the two with bowel control?

      August 16, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
  9. cachupemu

    I don't understand how this is news. Shouldn't this sort of experiment be kept secret? Why does the general public need to know that the Air Force is developing hypersonic objects?

    August 16, 2012 at 4:41 am | Reply
    • Deedubya

      If you're an American you're paying for this thing. Don't you deserve to know what is going on?

      August 16, 2012 at 6:39 am | Reply
    • ahem

      Because this is NOT at the top of the list when it comes to things being kept from the public.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
    • jay

      This is to show the world what we are capable of developing. Specifically the Chinese and Russians.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:00 am | Reply
      • David Miller

        Capable of developing military craps? Very impressive, just like the USSR.

        August 16, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  10. Baron von Munchausen

    @ Geehrter Herr Werner von Braun, have you forgotten that I the Baron von Munchausen have conducted the first MACH speed test and that was nearly 327 years ago when I sat on a cannon ball in the battle against the Turks. We still have not progressed since then?????? 😉

    August 16, 2012 at 4:19 am | Reply
    • Jt_flyer

      This is an air breathing aircraft. A rocket must carry its own o2. This aircraft gets its O2 from the atmosphere. Big difference.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:33 am | Reply
  11. UnFred

    Plane?? Looks like a guided missile to me.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:27 am | Reply

      Part 1: Test the engine before you build a full plane around it. Common sense...

      August 16, 2012 at 6:31 am | Reply

    Obvious U.S.A has been outmaneuvered in terms of sophisticated technology and they are not likely to succeed in this one.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:25 am | Reply
    • John

      You keep telling yourself that, foreigner.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:05 am | Reply
    • Bumblebee

      Outmaneuvered by who or what country? You're eiher a supporter or an individual who will feel the wrath of this technology once the Americans starts mass producinge this.

      Until then, you may continue your 'outmaneuvered Americans' daydream.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:43 am | Reply
      • wagman

        This gut is an Iranian...Remember the article on the "Stealth Flying Boat" that Iran produced? There were some halarious comments with that article.

        August 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  13. tylenol666

    another 6billion tax payer dollars flushed down in 16 seconds

    August 16, 2012 at 2:09 am | Reply
    • Intransitvalue

      Do not think so.The manufacturers of the plane have surely earned a considerable portion of the money They are ready to provide the Air force with another of the same to make more money!.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:42 am | Reply
    • John

      Our country became great because of risky endeavors to expand our knowledge. If the country were filled with nothing but short-sighted nits like you, we'd be a Third World country and you'd never have a computer or an internet on which to spew your backward nonsense.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:08 am | Reply
      • sw

        Internet was not invented by usa

        August 16, 2012 at 4:32 am |
      • GT

        SW – Actually it was. ARPANET which was essentially the building block of the internet was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S.

        August 16, 2012 at 5:05 am |
      • Dunkiemon

        Internet was created by Al Gore.

        August 16, 2012 at 6:08 am |
  14. CAC

    The Air Force will release details in a few weeks when it has had time to scrub all incriminating data.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:55 am | Reply
    • John

      Right. And we never landed on the moon and the towers were taken down by controlled explosives, the Pentagon was hit by a secret missile. Where do paranoids like you come from?

      August 16, 2012 at 4:09 am | Reply
      • locomo

        Lol, and the building 7, came down nicely because of fires?

        August 16, 2012 at 4:47 am |
      • PEDO BEAR

        God-bless the internet Trolls!

        August 16, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  15. gary

    Iam posting this again to ask if anyone has seen something like I did below. We do in fact have this type of tec.
    I see all these post about why would our government post this story, It's to make you think we don't have this kind of stuff yet! I can say this because two summers ago I seen in the Arizona desert a craft that looked like a pumpkin seed shaped ship, if I had not been looking up when I did I would have missed it, The craft was moving very fast and seemed to slow just a bit and made a 45 degree turn and took off again, when I first seen it was a brite white/silver, after it made the turn it lit up like a 100 watt light bulb and was gone into the clouds, lasted about two seconds, I know darn well it was man made!

    August 16, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • sheldon

      hmmm, yes we have this kind of "tec". They just tested it. The fact that you "seen it in the desert" adds nothing to this discussion. I agree that it was man-made. I speculate that it was made by NASA...the people who just built and tested it.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:24 am | Reply
      • SkipperSam

        Does Stan Lee know your close to his house ?

        Bazinga !

        August 16, 2012 at 1:40 am |
      • gary

        The fact that you "seen it in the desert" adds nothing to this discussion.????
        Wow u r a real peice of work!

        August 16, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • SkipperSam

      Linus Van Pelt, claims he saw the Pumpkin Seed Mother Ship

      August 16, 2012 at 1:25 am | Reply
  16. SkipperSam

    THIS was suppose to be a test of the sledge hammer guided glider
    Powered flight for 300 seconds or 30000km
    Speed was 100 kps or Mach 6
    Diameter Tip of jet is 2 meters of depleted Uranium
    Density of nose cone is 20 grams per cubic center-meter
    Impact angle is 90 degrees
    Kinetic Energy is 418879020478639.06 joules
    Mass is 83775.80409572781 kilograms
    yield is 83775.80409572781 kilotons of TNT about 1/11 mega ton
    Crater diameter is 143.2037188992405 meters
    Depth 35.800929724810125 meters
    Displace 288312.0430878387 cubic meters
    Edjecta spread 307.88799563336704 meters

    These things just make really big holes.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:15 am | Reply
    • sheldon

      Your calculations are wrong. First, not balistic object will impact at 90degrees from the surface. Second, crater diameter, depth, "edjecta" are completly variable. ....ehh.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:19 am | Reply
      • SkipperSam

        Asteroid Impact Crater Calculator
        To operate the calculator, enter desired values to describe an impactor and press the Calculate button. You may change any input value and recalculate.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:29 am |
      • SkipperSam

        V-2 impacted at 90% ie straight down

        you simply design thing to nose dive

        All other calculations are correct

        Sheldon drop Amy and go after Penny

        Make sure you sing soft kitty.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • SkipperSam

      his JavaScript program (by Stephen R. Schmitt) calculates the effects of the impact of an object hitting the earth. It was adapted from a BASIC program from the Astronomical Computing column of Sky & Telescope, November 1996.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:01 am | Reply
  17. Maury

    Yes, let's throw money away on some killer drone that can wipe out thousands of human beings in minutes. How many daycare centers, schools, food banks, etc. could have been created with that money?

    Our society is sick, sick, sick. This thing is a killing machine.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
    • sheldon

      Yes, the money spent here would have immediatly gone to the sick or poor,....and not some other pet project. That is sarcasim, but true. Spending is a complex beast.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • Arthur

      You are correct. However, until a way is figured out to make the 1% richer through peace, jobs, good schools, good infrastructure, and taking care of our own as any decent country should; forget about it. The military industrial complex makes tens of billions of dollars for a handful of US corporations and that's the way it will stay until enough Americans are out of work and on the street, even then I have little hope they will do anything; they would rather argue and call each other names like libtard and repulicant.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:26 am | Reply
    • Meh

      Rome will fall....again.
      We have already seen it thru history and that time is approaching again

      August 16, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
  18. Greg

    So, to recap and summarize 1600 posts...

    1. An X-15 did this 50 years ago. Never mind it was a rocket, not an air breathing scramjet.
    2. Fire all these useless people working on this program and spend the money giving Americans jobs.
    3. It'll never work.
    4. It already works and this is a cover story.
    5. It's Bush's fault.
    6. It's Obama's fault.
    7. Most people can't spell.

    Only one of the above statements is true.

    Before you type, pause a moment and think back to those wise words your momma once told you:

    Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt. Go read about the Mars rover. Less to argue about over there.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
    • sheldon

      Correction: Clearly it was Nixon's fault. ....Obvious.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
      • tinklez

        Nixon for president in 2012!

        August 16, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • flyonthewall

      Clear Greg, your a FA.G

      August 16, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
      • Greg

        Thank you, Rotsky. I LOVE being insulted by people who can't write THREE words without failing grammar. You just proved my point without even trying. The only thing you could have done better is say "Your a looser". Keep up the good work!

        August 16, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • flyonthewall

      Clear Greg, your a phA.G

      August 16, 2012 at 1:19 am | Reply
      • Greg

        When you've hit rock bottom, continue to dig. Your mom must be SO proud!

        August 16, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Bumblebee

      The grammar police is here. Time to log out or spend time in the 'Grammar Bighouse.'

      August 16, 2012 at 6:48 am | Reply

      @ Greg:

      1. The X-15 did not reach the speeds the X-51 is capable of
      2. So you want to fire these Americans who receved jobs for this project because you want the money spent elsewhere for jobs?! I guess we can't fight THAT logic!
      3. Obviously it works: the previous test flights were successful
      4. Time to take that tin foil hat off your head
      5. See #4
      6. See #4
      7. Including yourself: no major revelation there.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
      • Greg


        Your unfailing ability to grasp sarcasm is amazing. In fact, you fail to grasp it even when it's handed to you on a silver platter, since I even admitted (for people like you) that ALL MY STATEMENTS WERE FALSE except for one).

        Sad part is, you're one of the smartest people on this thread, and you're still too stupid to get it. Get it? But I appreciate another validation point on my theory.

        Now, if you care to stop chewing that crow long enough to tell me what I misspelled, I'm all ears.

        August 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  19. gary

    I see all these post about why would our government post this story,
    It's to make you think we don't have this kind of stuff yet!
    I can say this because two summers ago I seen in the Arizona desert a craft that looked like a pumpkin seed shaped ship, if I had not been looking up when I did I would have missed it, The craft was moving very fast and seemed to slow just a bit and made a 45 degree turn and took off again, when I first seen it was a brite white/silver, after it made the turn it lit up like a 100 watt light bulb and was gone into the clouds, lasted about two seconds, I know darn well it was man made!

    August 16, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
    • Aethrys

      Cocaines a powerful drug.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
      • Robert

        Yeah but I'm guessing he's more into meth... Coke's too expensive for his education level.

        August 16, 2012 at 4:38 am |
    • USAForever

      Yeah, Flying V- Shaped Drone Aircraft Carriers, Stealth Drones, ocean bed bases, rail guns, lunar hangers, and remote controled political holograms do exist.

      August 16, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  20. fistface

    You know.. the Pentagon and the Big Fed could have waited 5-10 years for this waste of money expense... Instead... they march on... Wasting trillions and trillions of our dollars...

    August 16, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
  21. /lol

    I cannot believe people actually think this is real, why would the government randomly release information about tests on a technology that could replace nukes unless it is a hoax/disinformation while they actually do other tests.
    So many sheep falling for this obvious smoke screen,

    August 16, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
    • Rob

      Dude are you stupid? Scramjets have been around for a long time. The tests are real... you are seriously lost. Please do the world a favor and never ever post another comment.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:01 am | Reply
      • gary

        Totaly agree.
        My post here: I see all these post about why would our government post this story, It's to make you think we don't have this kind of stuff yet! I can say this because two summers ago I seen in the Arizona desert a craft that looked like a pumpkin seed shaped ship, if I had not been looking up when I did I would have missed it, The craft was moving very fast and seemed to slow just a bit and made a 45 degree turn and took off again, when I first seen it was a brite white/silver, after it made the turn it lit up like a 100 watt light bulb and was gone into the clouds, lasted about two seconds, I know darn well it was man made!

        August 16, 2012 at 1:11 am |
      • Meh

        and this one band camp...i stuck my flute in my pu$$y

        August 16, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • The_Mick

      @/lol: this has nothing to do with "replacing nukes." I can't believe people who can't be bothered to study technology think they know enough to comment on it. If you did you'd at least have a clue about how embarrassing to yourself such a comment is.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
    • sheldon

      To say that the government (or anyone) releases information "randomly" means you would get bits and pieces of information at various times and not in any consistent manor or order (i.e. randomly). This was a planned test with reported results. I see no issue nor "smoke screen".

      August 16, 2012 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • Algorelies

      and who the hell is paying china for all of these wet dream projects?
      It cannot be me cause my 32% wages in taxes i pay are unapportioned....hmm..
      i think it is the same idiots who also paid for the "so-called" curiosity trip to mars...mother of god! one can bounce a signal off a satellite and the world will never know nothing is coming from Mars..

      August 16, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
      • sheldon

        ha ha ha. That is great. Assuming that all posts in forums are genuine, I think this is a great insight to the human mind. The "so called" curiosity trip to mars. Wow. I want to laugh, but I should probably cry.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:41 am |
      • bluedeer

        So 'nothing is coming from Mars' according to you? Without scentific research, there wouldn't be anything in orbit to bounce a signal off of. It's not that hard to get things from one planet to another, we've been doing it for years with probes. It becomes harder to land something intentionally on another planet, though, and that's what's more difficult. Thus, they did many tests with the systems used to land Curiousity on Mars here on Earth – some of which failed, just like this scramjet test. If you open your eyes and think about things, you'll find the truth is a lot less ridiculous and easier to support with real factual evidence than these conspiracy theories.

        August 16, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Burgo

      Yes they are really testing Extraterrestrial spaceships ... Everything is a conspiracy ... ffs

      August 16, 2012 at 1:17 am | Reply
  22. Alameda, Cal

    Why the Air Force needs to tell the public about the test?
    So other countires can spy on us and copy from us, take more jobs away from us ...?
    Keep our research info for ourselves. Keep Americans employed. We buy Made in the USA!!!
    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 16, 2012 at 12:52 am | Reply
    • Burgo

      Yes please keep your bombs to yourselves, eh use them on yourselves instead of innocent civilians in sovereign countries

      August 16, 2012 at 1:15 am | Reply
  23. TR

    I wonder what's up. Why are they telling us this report, anyway those pictures sure look fake to me.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:34 am | Reply
    • gary

      I see all these post about why would our government post this story, It's to make you think we don't have this kind of stuff yet! I can say this because two summers ago I seen in the Arizona desert a craft that looked like a pumpkin seed shaped ship, if I had not been looking up when I did I would have missed it, The craft was moving very fast and seemed to slow just a bit and made a 45 degree turn and took off again, when I first seen it was a brite white/silver, after it made the turn it lit up like a 100 watt light bulb and was gone into the clouds, lasted about two seconds, I know darn well it was man made!

      August 16, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
      • Mark

        Gary are you obsessed or something? you keep repeating the same thing over and over, its getting annoying.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:27 am |
      • gary

        I do it just for you Mark!!

        August 16, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  24. Morgan

    Imagine if some poor slob was out there in the ocean chugging along in his boat and all of a sudden........................... huge chunks of hot metal come raining down on his boat, which bursts into flames and he has to abandon before sending SOS. Now, if he's lucky, he's bobbing around in a tiny rubber raft wondering if anybody knows he's in trouble. If he's not lucky, he's hanging onto some floating piece of junk.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:29 am | Reply
    • Shane

      Seeing as how I'm betting we had aircraft in the area of the detonation within minutes, I don't think this is a major issues.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:23 am | Reply
  25. Ryan

    50 UK police stormed Ecuador embassy. Julian Assange arrested.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:29 am | Reply
    • Mark

      Ugh Riiiight – you need more of that Kool-Aid

      August 16, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
  26. rswon

    Geesh, how ignorant can some people be? This plane is using a technology that no other jet on the planet uses. It's a prototype, an experiment. Sometimes experiments don't work. The scientists/engineers then try to fix the problem and try again. Yes, this costs a lot of money, but guess what? Sometimes you have to think past the next fiscal quarter.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
  27. Robert

    Okay, I saw another article on this and they were talking about eventually being able to deliver troops and material anywhere in the world within an hour. That would require speeds in the neighborhood of around Mach 20 to accomplish. How many G's would a soldier have to endure for an hour at Mach 20?

    August 16, 2012 at 12:20 am | Reply
    • rswon

      Flying at Mach 20 won't hurt them a bit. It's the acceleration that's the problem.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:27 am | Reply
    • InternetUser120008

      Won't matter at all, unless they accelerate quickly to that speed....

      August 16, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
  28. SkipperSam

    Dear China

    Sorry to tell you, but we acually launched this thing Saturday.

    The darn thing malfuctioned and flew at mach 60 for one hour and after it flew some
    45672 miles
    it broke into two pieces and landed in Iran.

    The impacts in Iran's mountainous northeast caused a 6.4 and 6.3 magnitude earthquakes

    Lets keep this a secret.

    Your friends at the USAF

    August 16, 2012 at 12:18 am | Reply
    • SkipperSam

      BTW mach 60 is twice the speed needed to go into orbit

      We launched one of these things earlier but our science guys claim that they cause such an stratospheric disturbance that the shock wave creates massive rain storms. You see any of this ? , because we cannot track a missile oops jet traveling at Mach 60 We have like 20 more of these with no good place to store them.


      Hap Arnold III

      August 16, 2012 at 12:28 am | Reply
    • gary

      lol, good one.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • CelestialOne

      Dear USA,
      Maybe the cause of the problem lies with you guys using a mixture of imperial and metric systems in your design. Please sort out this mess ASAP as our extensive network of strong cyber spies are waiting to hack into your system to retrieve your blueprints.
      Your friendly banker, China.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:25 am | Reply
  29. Doug

    we can land on mars but can not fly a jet on earth....I think that they are pulling the wool over us again...

    August 16, 2012 at 12:14 am | Reply
    • Phil

      This wasn't a jet. It's a scramjet. There's a huge difference. The main difference is that in a scramjet engine all the processes like compression, combustion and exhaust takes place at supersonic velocities. But there are no moving parts in a scramjet engine. So to sat that flying this aircraft is the same as flying a jet is categorically false.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
    • Phil

      In addition, this is the first I've ever heard of an actual test of a scramjet aircraft. Until now, scramjet technology has always been entirely theoretical.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
      • sheldon

        We have already tested this at a lower speed (mach 5 or so). I also think the Australians tested this technology last year or the year before.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:48 am |
      • Phil

        Actually, I just looked it up and the Russians conducted the first successful test in 1991. But my point is that a lot of these bleeding heart liberals are saying that there's no use for tests like these except for war and military use. There are so many everyday things we take for granted that were either invented for military use or were developed and/or perfected by the military and then adopted for civilian use.

        August 16, 2012 at 2:27 am |
      • bluedeer

        Phil: Just FYI, some of us 'bleeding heart liberals' are quite capable of seeing the practical applications of new technology, thank you very much.

        August 16, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Phil

      Remember this.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:32 am | Reply
  30. livux

    A lot of people see this as money wasted. Yes, in some sense, money was wasted because they part that failed was not central to what they were testing. Yet, it is necessary for the USAF to continue to try to develop this technology. Failures are to be expected when testing technology that no one has mastered. The potential applications have yet to be realized. Hyper-sonic technology could help a country rule the world. There is no defense(not yet at least) against a missile flying at Mach 5+. We could use this technology in space to help us get to Mars or where ever we are going faster. In the process of building this technology, we develop new heat resistant materials, more understanding in fluid dynamics, and etc. And for the people who complain that we should be spending this money on helping improving the country: the country cannot be fixed by just pumping more money into the economy. 57 billion dollars is not going to jump start the economy. The central problem of the economy and the government is people not taking responsibility in doing their jobs and contributing to the economy. So far, the only thing I see that is contributing to the economy is the military that buys things from American companies which in turn supports jobs. Keep in mind, this project also is keeping many engineers jobs.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:12 am | Reply
    • bam

      only dolts dont understand trial and error.
      trying to explain it to them gets u no where

      August 16, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
  31. john1425

    Top Two News on CNN today:
    Scramble Jet & Scrabble Kid

    August 16, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  32. Jack

    We are broke but we still have our pride!

    August 16, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply
  33. Jack

    16 trillion dollars in debt, still doing arm race? oh my...

    August 16, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
    • bam

      so u were ok with the IRAQ war paid for by tax cuts?

      August 16, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • Phil

      Not simply an arms race. Do some research. There are so many luxuries we take for granted today that began as military and weapons technologies. Ever flown on a plane? Sure it was invented by civilians, but the military developed the technology for war, and the first airliners weren't developed until after WWII. Other items that were originally invented for military use but now are used in civilian life include digital photography, the Internet, GPS, night vision, water purification...The list goes on. So get off your high horse. Your everyday life wouldn't be possible without military R&D.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:24 am | Reply
  34. gmorbgmibgnikgnok

    If you want it to work without costing the federal budget of Spain, call SpaceX instead.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:06 am | Reply
  35. hanky

    See the size of that thing they call a jet??? i'd say jet engine is all they are testing, or if its ajet, its for Hobbits.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
  36. Earle Smithe

    GO BOEING GO! MAKE CASH FOR CRASH! AWESOME JOB! When you want one to fly, call Lockheed Martin.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Reply
    • Karl

      When was the last time you saw a L-1011...

      August 16, 2012 at 12:42 am | Reply
      • Earle Smithe

        Fed-Ex uses the hell out of the L-1011s these days, but I was speaking more along the lines of the F-22 (which is much more impressive than the less expensive F-35 – which isn't chump change either). Don't forget the most cost effective multi purpose C-130 that are still being rolled off the production line in Marietta, GA every day and sold all over the world.... yes, Lockheed is expensive, but they have more experience in this line of work than anyone.

        August 16, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  37. art vandalay

    That B52-H looks mighty impressive!

    August 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  38. Spencer

    Military = TAX PAYER ROBBERY

    Give our MONEY BACK if it doesn't work. CREATE JOBS for the PEOPLE.... NOT DESTROY IT and MAKE MONEY DISAPPEAR.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Reply
    • Rob


      The scramjet is one of the few projects out there that could substantially benefit our way of life. If this equipment is perfected and controlled, it would impact our world in ways comparable to the internet. Read up on it and become enlightened....

      August 16, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
    • Phil

      Do some research. There are so many luxuries we take for granted today that began as military and weapons technologies. Ever flown on a plane? Sure it was invented by civilians, but the military developed the technology for war, and the first airliners weren't developed until after WWII. Other items that were originally invented for military use but now are used in civilian life include digital photography, the Internet, GPS, night vision, water purification...The list goes on. So get off your high horse. Your everyday life wouldn't be possible without military R&D.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:30 am | Reply
    • Phil

      Remember that next time before you decide to stir up crap just for the sake of being a "rebel" and being "cool."

      August 16, 2012 at 1:34 am | Reply
  39. Richard Jones

    This failure needs to be canceled immediately ! We are BROKE !! Stone cold broke 1

    August 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Reply
    • Doug

      you think we are broke....Where do you live, in the 50s?

      August 16, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  40. Tiating


    this what ur Taxes are used for, for crashing little toys into the ocean for no purpose.
    This keeps money on the table for the makers of the failed (intentionally) experiments
    Your thoughts on what your money is used for is utterly meaningless

    August 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
    • Whisky

      I'm assuming you're trolling but just in case you're actually this thickheaded and arrogant; where do you think the majority of our technological enhancements come from? Nuclear power, flight, space, computers, gunpowder, just to name a few. Hell, how about the wheel? Most technological advancements evolve from some form of military spending. With scramjets in the future, you could attend a government protest in DC and talk about it with your hipster friends at a coffee shop in LA just a few hours later saying "ugh, I can't stand these Americans in our country."

      August 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Reply
      • JOSE

        Scramjets is the future. There will be failures, then success!

        August 16, 2012 at 12:06 am |
      • u laby

        The Concorde was cancelled because it was a failure and you think THIS will work in the private sector. You're a fool

        August 16, 2012 at 12:13 am |
      • Jeffrey Root

        The majority of our technological advancements that are passed on to civilians come from NASA, not the military.

        August 16, 2012 at 12:18 am |
      • Rob

        I couldn't agree with you more Whisky; these people want to comment without doing their research and then judge something that can actually contribute to the world. Focus should be spent on trying to stop their politicians from lining their pockets with our hard earned cash. Btw, our Federal Reserve system was destined to fail; how does anyone expect to overcome debt when every dollar minted has a small fraction of interest attached to it.... THINK PEOPLE.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  41. Percocious

    There should be a sign on the side of it, as it's flying by:


    Then, it takes a dump into the ocean, with the rest of them

    August 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • sheldon

      There should be a sign on the side of your house: "6.7Billion dollars per month for the war in Afghanistan. I am safer becuase....? (oh, ignore the maniacs(not terrorists) with guns in the theaters)"

      August 16, 2012 at 2:00 am | Reply
  42. Don

    What company was the Primary Beneficiary of this failed Experiment?

    August 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  43. Michael

    Yayyyyyyyy!!!!!!!! Another $57 billion dollars wasted. Thanks, Air Force!!! Money well spent! All 15-seconds of it

    August 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  44. Mr Fisher

    In the 60's ad 70's, people simply did things for the sake of it. They weren't concerned with econoics, politics, or global warming; here is a challenge, and let's do it. Look at the greats, such as SR-71, Concorde, Saturn V rocket and so on. Without the over investment of internet infrastructure during the late 90's, do you think I'd be participating on CNN interactive? Back to my point about the Concorde, sure when the plane had first entered commercial flight, it was a white elephant, but if we had continued on that path, we could be flying in aircraft that is slightly faster than a 747 and just as econoical. So any scientists and engineers who are working on real world applications to make society a better place, you have my blessings.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • u laby

      The Concorde was cancelled because it needed a ridiculous amount of fuel to sustain supersonic flight. It burned 1 ton of fuel per passenger to fly between London and New York. Why do you think this would be any more practical?? If you want to dream, I suggest you pay for your own crazy projects.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
      • bluedeer

        Precisely. The Concorde was shut down because it did require ridiculous amounts of fuel, versus how much it made per flight because it was a true jet engine. A scramjet, however, requires a lot less fuel to sustain its power but it is far more efficient but it's difficult to get working properly than a standard jet engine.

        August 16, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  45. Ronda

    I have no idea what to say about this....But I do have questions! Lol
    1. Was this REALLY necesarry?
    2. Did the Air Force NEED to do this on the taxpayer expense?
    3. Why did they NEED to make something, knowing that it's going to fail, along with other stuff, that's supposed to go the speed of sound?

    Wow, another FAIL along with the Mars machines....What's next? A government official thinking of ways like flying to Pluto in 2 hours? Give me a break...If this REALLY DOES happen, I'm going to sue their pants off and DEMAND MY NAME on that potential mission! I'm serious!!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  46. contact ufo

    look the x-51A Waveriders picture-Your brook all rules in aerodinamic in atmosphare-Earth.-sable-nose construction-flat,is joke,is Hypersonic-JOKE,-if you know how to yused magnet energy naturel an front of the (sable-nose) than the (sable nose) will have no fryction,or any turbulences in atmosphare-Earth-an will ghet the speed of the burning fuel from the Jet-engine behinde,–and will missed the landing an planet Earth.-Ha!ha!!

    August 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Reply
    • Mad Hatter

      Maybe its me but if i was going to post some mindless drivel but wanted to appear intelligent I would attempt to spell a few words correctly. Turn on your spell check at least.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
    • hanky

      Nice translator, however, its not working for your language.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  47. TheGOPreeks

    Of course it failed. It's "Made in the USA."

    August 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    • u laby

      If my computer breaks, I can take it back to the store. If this piece of junk falls apart .... no refund.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  48. Sheerer

    Try it in space

    August 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  49. John Gault

    Maybe they should dust off the old X-15's. One of those clipped off 4500 mph+ back in 1967 and oh yeah it had this thing called a pilot flying it. RIP and God Speed Pete Knight. They don't make 'em like they used too, planes or men.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
    • Eric459

      The G-force on that thing must be huge, your blood would probably leak through your pours

      August 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Amen brother!!!!

      August 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • VoiceOf Truth

      Yep yu're right:

      August 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
    • hanky

      Wrong, the X 15 was technically in space at 19 miles no drag, there is no way in hell the X-15 could travel at 4500 mph at 30,000 ft alt.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  50. John

    LOL at the commenters here. "Stupid scientists can't even build a scramjet prototype pssshhhhh."

    August 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • u laby

      They've been working on this for almost 20 years. Time to give up.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  51. u laby

    One day federal budgets will make sense ... not today.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  52. fubarack Obamadinejad

    That play by play, read like the Obama administration.

    August 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
    • TheGOPreeks

      They should call the hypersonic dud "the Flying Ryan."

      August 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • Sheerer

      This was a bush project not obama

      August 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  53. zzBottom

    one more failure we can chalk up to bush as far as I"m concerned

    August 15, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Reply
    • Zodnick

      What??? When does Obama become responsible for anything? What a joke!

      August 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
      • zzBottom

        well, try to remember who started these endless wars?

        August 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
      • Sheerer

        Project started with Bush administraion also

        August 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
      • u laby

        What endless war?? Obama increased the number of troops in Afghanistan. As well, not sure if you noticed that we're out of Iraq.

        August 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Chris R

      That is a very idiotic comment.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • DJBMM

      Oddly enough one of them has ended, and on the EXACT same time frame bush set up when he had a shoe thrown at him. Your current potus campaigned that that was too long of a time frame, yet stuck to it word for word.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
      • steven harnack

        Actually the way it worked is like this; The Bushies were adamently opposed to any kind of time table to end our involvement in Iraq. They envisioned a perpetual US occupation with the country as a big US military base and the Iraqis as the servents. Senator Barak Obama worked up and proposed a definate end date and a plan for withdrawal that the BVushies of course rejected but the Iraqis liked so well that they insisted that it be included in the last Status of Forces agreement, for which Sadr would stand down the Mahdi Army, thus making the surge look like it had some effect. And THAT is how we got out of Iraq. A plan by Obama that the Iraqis forced Bush to accept.

        August 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  54. Jason Glugla

    Time for our Chinese friends to go fishing.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      Arm race with 14trillion in debt.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Reply
      • u laby

        16 trillion. It's worse than you thought.

        August 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  55. Bob B

    It's a waste of money, a weapon of war. Junk it.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • eh

      If it was up to you we would still be in the dark ages. Disregard the fact this could be applied to commercial aircraft in the future somehow...oh no its obvious that its only application can be for war lets junk it. Small minded idiot

      August 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
      • Bob B

        What is it good for?

        August 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
      • Bob B

        I see no answer. It's a waste of money and a weapon of war. Is it the next concord? Lets hear it Idiot.

        August 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
      • steven harnack

        Yeah, since the Concord failed economicaly there's been a lot of call for something that could take 4 or 5 commercial travelers 4 times faster, especially since it became so easy to teleconference. It's part of an ongoing plan to militarize space as part of the Neo-con Plutocracy, Imperial America.

        August 16, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • bluedeer

      'What is it good for'? How about shipping goods? It doesn't necessarily have to move people, but do you think your T-shirts made in China just magically appeared in Wal-Mart? You think your Dell Laptop, manufactured in Malaysia, just transmitted through the planet like the T-1000? The practical applications for this technology are astounding. A scramjet is basically a jet engine that has very few moving parts and is incredibly efficient. A regular jet engine has a ton of moving parts and is not quite as efficient. The things they could learn from a working functional and testable scramjet engine would bring other applications. You cannot simply be so small-minded to look at a prototype and go 'Nope, can't see any use for it'. If that's how scientists functioned, we wouldn't have LCDs, or a lot of medicines or polyester, or a lot of things you use daily and take for granted. A ton of practical applications come from the least practical of origins. A lot of things you enjoy right now came from the space missions of the early 50's and 60's, you may have heard of the Apollo Missions? Well, that computer you're using... you didn't think that just appeared by magic, did you?

      August 16, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
  56. Ramney

    Hey Paul Ryan, Do you approve this expensive failed tests ? How many old citizens we need to sacrifice for these army tests ?

    August 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Reply
    • zzBottom

      let's ask Obama since he's in charge

      August 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
      • u laby

        It's still Bush's project.

        August 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  57. willie

    Why do the keep calling it an aircraft? Its obviously just a super fast missile that could strike anywhere in the world within minutes.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  58. nick p

    i wonder if the same thing would have happened if the X30 got finished?

    August 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  59. Bob

    Once I taped two skyrockets together and added a smoke bomb at the top. I think it worked better.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  60. dmnewsi

    Reblogged this on dmnewsi.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  61. Some Dude

    Maybe we are just not getting the full story ... maybe it worked great ... never believe anything your told; especially if your told "We will tell you in a couple weeks what happened".

    August 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • AndrettiDog

      Agreed. Doesn't anyone find it interesting that this is even a story? How often do we hear about about these stories? It not until a time of war that we even know that this stuff exists. I think the public viewing of this project is actually for someone else.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
    • Shane

      I can tell you why they said they will release details in a few weeks.

      The initial investigation is wrong a lot of the time. They don't build much credibility when releasing bad information from the begining.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  62. major e.c.w.

    Why no mention this POS is made by BOEING ??

    August 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • BR549

      Boeing = marketing, marketing and marketing. And no engineering.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Reply
      • Austin

        Right, because the Boeing 787, the most advanced airliner ever produced, was a product of marketing... I suppose you'd rather have US airlines importing their aircraft from Europe. Send our money overseas but not our jobs, right?

        August 16, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • todd

      this pos? obviously YOU build these simple mach 6 machines in your spare time?

      August 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  63. China Syndrome


    August 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      Country 14 trillion in debt will collapse on her own. No need to sabotage.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  64. Werner Von Braun

    "GW Bush inherited a 40 billion dollar surplus "

    Impossible. There was never any surplus. Hasn't been in the last 40 + years.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Reply
    • Realist

      You must be a Christian - since you value your false information so greatly, and pay attention to facts about as much as religious people do. The 1999 US Federal budget was balanced. See: and other sources. Idiot.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
      • Seamusmeboy value information..Wikipedia??????? That is rich.
        In 2000 we were still paying off debt from WWII. The yearly budget might have been balanced, but we still had dept, it has not been payed off. Lastly, 1998-2000 saw us recede and go into recession (Tech bubble burst).

        August 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
      • VoiceOf Truth

        Why bash Christians in this article?

        August 15, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
      • steven harnack

        @Seamus..... that's hilarious. Are you posting from England? They might still be paying us for WWII. At the end of WWII we were the only solvent country left. All of our allies owed us for lend-lease and other loans and all of our enemies owad us reparations. Add to that the fact that we were the only industrialized nation that still had any industry and you'll understand why we suddenly became the richest nation on earth. This made some people decide that war is great business, which is why we've been at war ever since, burning up the resources like there's no tomorrow.

        August 16, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • toupee34

      We had a surplus of $230 billion. Just read the article posted by CNN, if you don't like Wikipedia:

      August 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply

    They keep using the term 'lost.' I read earlier they blew it up when they knew they couldn't control it. So....don't go looking for it on the ground. HA!

    August 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Reply
    • MRad

      They terminated the test with an explosive charge that the test article carried for just such a purpose – In case the vehicle separated from flight. The goal being, destroy the vehicle while its still in controlled/monitored range-space and where it can fall from flight without damage to civilian property. So in essence, the test article was lost due to a malfunction of some type. So the flight may not be a success but the telemetry data that was gathered (and most certainly transmitted to a range station) will yield enough information for a Failure Review Board to perform a root cause analysis.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Reply
      • AFS

        Well said!

        August 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  66. kmac

    Look at the possible implications of such a thing for Iran. Today its projected we will need a nuke to get their nukes. What kind of impact would that thing make at 4,600 mph without radiation and fallout. And done fairly cheaply.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  67. Misterman

    Can we please get the folks from Toyota or Honda to help us out? Sheesh.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  68. USMC

    Ok people, let's put this in perspective. This country has a foundation for invention and innovation. Mars rover is to determine if life existed on another planet and can we learn more about life in this universe if there is/was life on another planet. Can we learn why life on another planet ended, can we prevent that from happening to us. The scramjet technology will aid our ability to travel. right now, it takes 3 hours to fly from los angeles to orlando. Thsi jet technology will make that flight in one hour. Will make military aircraft faster than the weapons we face, saving a live or two. With that technology, we can even build on it to make a trip to other planets shorter in time. This country has always lead the way when it comes to invention and innovation. The airplane was invented in America. the steam engine, in America. We have lost our edge in creativity and imagination, which is the foundation for inventing things. I agree we have concerns here in America, but stifling innovation is not the answer. Send money to countries other than the US is a good start to recoup our money. this test is needed and could potentially benefit us in the future, if we look at it in a positive way.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • keb carerra

      Then it gets sold to Israel l and Saudi Arabia and China has their own knock off sold to Venezuela etc . Insanity

      August 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  69. wylie

    Y'all are just a bunch of pathetic Monday morning quarterbacks criticizing a minor setback. Sure we could all just be contented with gettting from Point A to Point B on horse back. Or we could take a few chances and push the boundaries of technology and have a few failures in the process. This is how we get ahead,by taking chances and failing. As a friend told me about learning to ski..."If you aren't falling you aren't going to get better".

    How do you think that daily jet travel was perfected (with the exception of the TSA)?

    August 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • Misterman

      Yeah yeah, we know. But it's fun to bash the people who spend our money! 🙂

      August 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Reply
      • Werner Von Braun

        Yeah, especially the last several pickleheads who have occupied the White House.

        August 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Dreamer96

      Hey with the price of gas going up...a horse is starting to make sense again...Saddle up boys and girls....

      August 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
      • Dreamer96

        And last year, there were a lot more carjackings then horsejackings in New York City!!

        August 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Peter

      How many millions of taxpayer dollars did you waste when your skiing didn't work out so well?

      August 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Reply
      • todd

        How many tax dollars do you think YOU paid for this project? I'm guessing a few bucks, if that.

        August 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  70. Dreamer96

    What really get interesting, is the Air Force says we need a supersonic cruise missile to strike the terrorist....but at the same time, we are using propeller powered Predator drones with hell fire missiles, killing terrorist right now..and that is much cheaper then these mach 6 missiles.....Oh the confusion.. I know...with a mach 6 cruise missile we can fly right though Syrian, North Korean, or Iranian, air defense system....Cool...

    August 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  71. john1425

    HAH – so a tail fin sent it to the dust bin.

    August 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  72. FedUpwithLA

    Too much attention on Mohawk Guy and not enough on X-51A Waverider. Let's get our priorities straight here . . .

    August 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  73. Ryan

    British police is preparing to storm the Ecuadorian embassy. Ultimatum was given to handle over Wiki-leaks founder Julian Assange. ( lenta .ru/news/2012/08/16/assange/ )

    August 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
    • Dreamer96

      That would be an invasion of Ecuadorian Germany invading Belgium...

      August 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  74. Makinsense

    Who cares what it costs... please everyone quite whining about it. Its going to happen, we need to research and experiment. We learn from failure, the future is built upon it. Besides.. what would you do with the extra money eh? Get showtime on cable? Maybe an extra case of beer while you sit on your rump and complain about other people that actually attempt to build things to advance humanity? exactly

    August 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      because the military's purpouse is to better humanity... yup

      August 15, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • Shane

      Actually Peter, yes. Many military innovations over the year impact our lives in a positive way as well.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  75. Saqib Kahn

    Blame it on taliban Haqqanis for the failure.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  76. Preston Baes

    i hope Blizzard Entertainment sues the fk out of the air force for using x-51 🙂 actually i cant wait

    August 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
    • Shane

      Wouldn't work. Even if X-51 was trademarked, there is no way someone can confuse the two therefore it isn't infringment. Just like the guy that trademarked Stealth couldn't sue the producers of the movie Stealth (terrible movie but still).

      August 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  77. eddie2010

    ie. send more money

    August 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  78. josh

    i've always wondered why we haven't tried a nuclear aircraft yet, with a nuclear explosion chamber setting of micronukes propelling the jet forward... something like that may be better suited for space exploration, maybe to gliese

    August 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Reply
    • Greg

      Easy...because it's impossible to test without polluting the entire world. Google Project Pluto.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
      • josh

        well yea you'd have to strap it to a space shuttle and test it in outer space

        August 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Werner Von Braun

      I'd be a little uneasy about something like that flying around in the atmosphere. Space exploration, yes.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  79. Dynamic

    We could just try giving the CEO's and the employees the money directly, maybe skip the actual building of things that don't work and give the savings to a few more "workers".

    August 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
    • Greg want to "save" the money paid to people to build stuff and give it to people for not building stuff. Wow, you are insightful. How many millions will you make in your perpetual motion ponzi scheme?

      Sigh...I give up on your morons. It's clear that you people don't understand the first thing about economics.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
      • Miguel

        Obviously you don't recognize sarcasm when you hear/read it. Maybe you should figure that out before calling people names!!

        August 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
      • Chip Smith

        And where can I get some morons like he obviously did?

        August 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
      • Dynamic

        You're absolutely right, Greg. Thank Goodness for the vapor investors who just love investing in non-functioning military projects. I forgot about where the actual money for these projects comes from.

        August 15, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Dynamic

      I'm just saying that, much like a certain giant tank system that was actually built and worked somewhat successfully, but later deemed to be too big and scrapped... save the money on the materials and development resources, give it to the fat-cat CEO's and the employees and add a few employees to the payroll – money saved, more jobs created, more tax revenue to throw back at such future projects (unless conservatives let the CEO's get away with paying even less taxes).

      August 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
      • Dynamic

        That is, unless you morons think the military is actually learning anything useful...really? Could you really be that naive?

        August 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
      • Dynamic

        Oh but wait. No, you're right. If there was nothing developed then there would be no money coming in from the anonymous investors living in investment land and who just happen to love investing in US military projects, even when they don't work or do anything for anyone... of course, you're right and I'm the moron. How stupid of me.

        August 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
      • Greg

        I have no idea what you're talking about, and frankly, neither do you. Saving money by not buying materials, to hire more people??? Never mind that those "materials" were ultimately just jobs in the first place....the Earth doesn't get a cut of the revenue.

        Miguel must have been are being sarcastic. Just not entertainingly so.

        August 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  80. Dynamic

    Yeah – same thing happened to my third waverider... the fourth will go much better.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  81. geff

    Scramjet: what galactic bank robbers drive.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  82. Klaark

    Sometimes things don't work right. That's why they call them "tests." Of course if it were a Republican in the White House, this would be a prudent example of us keeping out technological superiority over the other races, but since it's a Dem, waste of money! GOP are such trash.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Reply
    • Cluck

      GOP = Klaark's Sister

      August 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
    • Werner Von Braun

      You need some fresh air.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  83. midwestern boy

    How much did this one cost us ?

    August 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply
    • Klaark

      Nothing your mother can't make up over a few nights.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Reply
      • Cluck

        ^^^typical classy lib

        August 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Josh

      Yea. The Air Force should stick to just spending our money on sending young boys to their deaths.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  84. tm1946

    Not a lot of bang for the buck, billion here, billion there and pretty soon you will be talking about some real money – Evert Dirksen, Rep. I paraphase.

    Seriously, who would want to from from CA to NY in one hour. California where cities are going bankrupt because they gave their public employees better retirements than the wages they earned to a NYC where the mayor wants to restrict the amount of soda. I say skip them both. Drive, enjoy the scenery, make a dinosaur laugh.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  85. Joe Bloe

    Today's aerospace engineers wouldn't make a pimple on the butt of Kelly Johnson or Ben Rich.

    Sorry, but the newbees aren't of a high enough caliber.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • tcaros

      They know more today than you ever knew. They built a remote control plane and drones, this one goes mach 6.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
    • Werner Von Braun

      Amazing how well those guys were in the days before CAD and when slide rules...ruled.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  86. The Myth

    Reminds me of the Air Forces Atlas rockets we started to use in the Gemini program. They blew up on the pad, they blew up in the air, and they blew up going sideways down the

    August 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply
    • Josh

      Didn't NASA just have a Moon Return Lander blow up in test?

      August 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
    • Werner Von Braun

      Yeah, and before that, the Atlas blew up more than it flew. Guys like Glen, Shepherd & Grissom had huge gnads.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  87. josh

    i'm wondering how it could keep from spiraling out of control without wings, first of all, and second, wouldn't our atmosphere be too thick to test something that of that speed?

    August 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
    • SB

      1) See: missile. 2) That's the whole point of this technology; to overcome that problem.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Reply
      • josh

        well it said "Test of Mach 6 aircraft" so i'm wondering how that has anything to do with a missile, which doesn't need to maintain horizontal stability

        August 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Eric

      Body lift and aerodynamic control surfaces.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      For the love of... Get some education man.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:28 am | Reply
  88. Leafy Sideburns

    The Colonial Era, in America History was about expansion, grabbing more land. Advancement of technology is critical, as must our faith, in applied challenges. " We should not use old solutions for new problems" is agreeable. Being selfish and, prideful would be American's mistake. THINK BIG. And, then, THINK BIGGER.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  89. Captain America

    from USMC1999: ummm, oblama has made a living on blaming Bush for the past 3.5 years

    to USMC1999: It is going to take much longer than 3.5 years to fix the mess that Bush left our country in

    August 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • iamrightuarewrong

      then why did obama increase casualties per month in iraq/afghanistan by 600 percent, move unemployment from 8 to 10 percent, increase deficit, and destroy the middle class? Doesnt seem like he's helping at all.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
      • Jeff

        "Why did Obama increase casualties?" ... are you a complete idiot. What do you think he did? "Hello is this the enemy commanders, I'd like to order more active fighting please, and can I get an order of CRAZY bread with that"?

        August 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • midwestern boy

      But double that time to dig out from the debt that our current President will leave us with.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Reply
      • tcaros

        The debt came from GW Bush, 2 unfunded and useless wars and excessive spending.

        August 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
      • Werner Von Braun

        More like reckless spending on social programs than the wars. Face it. Bush left us with a raging fire and Obama comes along and puts it out with a bucket of gasoline. He's more clueless than Bush. Sad thing is, the alternative isn't much better.

        August 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Josh

      Obama has followed the protocol followed by ever other sitting president. Obama never blamed Bush personally, or any past president, once Obama took the oath of office (of course, during elections, every candidate likes to blame everyone else or everything).

      August 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
      • tcaros

        In this case, the blame rests on Bush... 2 unfunded wars.

        GW Bush inherited a 40 billion dollar surplus and he spent it all like a drunk sailor on leave.

        August 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
      • Werner Von Braun

        "Obama never blamed Bush personally"

        Huh? What are the hell are you smoking?

        August 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  90. Marty

    Seems likely the fin was damaged in flight, either while attached to or during release from the B-52, perhaps due to some unanticipated mechanical stress or wind. It's early to say, but if lessons are learned that prevent greater loss in the future this may be added to the long list of successful failures.

    There are no shortage these days of people who will deride mistakes, maybe even take credit or claim they are the action of a vengeful god. Until the day all mankind celebrate accomplishment again globally – as occurred July 20, 1969 when NASA landed on the moon – let's focus more on choosing and achieving our scientific and engineering goals and less on what others say.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  91. Dino

    Wow this soundoff blog can be a real steaming pile. It wont show my posts related to the article but it might show this irrelevant post.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  92. End Game

    More stupid government waste!

    This project is screaming to be cut and terminated!!!!!

    August 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • Easy E

      Bulls t. High risk high reward programs like this are precisely what we need to be spending R&D money on. You cannot be an innovator without taking risks. So long as they don't repeat their mistakes, this is money well spent...or perhaps you'd perfer we all lived in caves.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • JT

      Sounds like typical Christian thinking. Afraid that Science is a direct threat to your delusion.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  93. are0lies

    Remember people, the X-15 started this way, except that it had live humans onboard. Hopefully something positive evolves from this program, besides just another weapons delivery system.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  94. bernie

    Bad news for USAF bad news for Gillete

    August 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Reply
    • John

      Bad news for me too. After wasting five minutes of research, I found out that the maximum speed that I (or anyone) can let one rip is at Mach .009 (assuming the record max rip speed at 10 feet per second -records are meant to be broken you know). That is not even close to the Mach 6 that they wanted to get with this type of design.

      August 16, 2012 at 12:34 am | Reply
  95. Leafy Sideburns

    Maybe. X-51A workers needs to take a Cold Shower. The Game has Changed, So Must everything else. The policy makers and, the influencers should realize what's essential for not just our country, but the world as one, and, how we can work together for a saner realm, and stop violence.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Nice one. Yeah, let's just not dream. Why tell anyone we can dream big? Nothing becomes of it right? I'm sure that's what people in China or S. Korea (world's leader in electronics) tells its citizens. You troglodyte. This what is killing America. Go neuter yourself then blow your brains out.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
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