The accomplishment marks the longest flight for the $300 million X-51A technology demonstration program and, according to the Air Force and Boeing, the longest scramjet-powered hypersonic flight ever.
On Tuesday the Air Force plans to launch a scramjet-powered test vehicle that could hit Mach 6 en route to a new generation of spacecraft and missiles.
X-51A WaveRider scheduled to be dropped over Pacific Ocean in December inaugural test flight.
Over at the Skunk Works, aircraft designers are hard at work cooking up a hypersonic scion to the legendary SR-71, the superspeedy recon jet of the Cold War.
The new XS-1 program wants designs for satellite-toting flying machines that are fast (hypersonic, even), cheap, and reusable -- on a one-day turnaround, no less.
The flight failed due to aerodynamic problems caused when a fin became unlocked, sending the experimental aircraft into a corkscrew. A fourth X-51A flight will likely take place next year.
Trouble with a control fin on the sleek, scramjet-powered aircraft puts an abrupt and early end to the Air Force's attempt at a Mach 6 flight.
The Air Force's experimental, scramjet-powered Waverider makes a short but historic flight in a test range over the Pacific Ocean.
The Falcon HTV-2 was expected to glide through the upper atmosphere at speeds up to Mach 20, but the flight ended prematurely in the Pacific.
Time magazine has revealed the incredible innovations, gorgeous gadgets and gobsmacking gizmos that make up its 50 Best Inventions of 2010.