back to article New hydrocarb X-51 scramjet ready for flight

US jet-engines'n'rockets colossus Pratt & Whitney says it has successfully completed ground testing of its new hypersonic scramjet engine prototype, which can run on ordinary hydrocarbon fuel at Mach 6. The company believes that the radical hyperjet is now ready to fly on the X-51 "WaveRider" test flights planned to begin next …

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  1. Fluffykins

    New keyboard and a fresh cup ofd coffee please

    "DARPA*, the renowned Pentagon crazyscience bureau whose nuttiness can only be properly expressed in terms of a conceptual Tardis-style hyperdimensional fruitcake, able to hold many times more nuts than can fit within its apparent measurements."

    ROTFLMFNO

  2. John
    Happy

    Nice

    "DARPA, the renowned Pentagon crazyscience bureau whose nuttiness can only be properly expressed in terms of a conceptual Tardis-style hyperdimensional fruitcake"

    I've been enjoying the exaggerated descriptions of DARPA but I think you may be reaching the very peak of available hyperbole here! Where does we go now? You may need to read some E.E. 'Doc' Smith - a true master of excess!

  3. Adrian

    DARPA definition

    classic !!!

  4. Jonathan McColl
    Unhappy

    Saving the planet for democracy

    This brings in several El Reg correspondence themes:

    What is the carbon footprint of anyone using this thing? I'm pressured to turn off my computer monitor when I leave my desk at lunchtime.

    Will this help in the War on Tourists? Would it have prevented 9/11, 7/7 or any other number?

    Will it stop nasty American border-controllers from looking at my alien hard drive?

    If I think about it I'm sure I can bring in DNA testing of schoolkids, Paris Hilton, ID and (a new theme) the Credit Crunch.

  5. david
    Joke

    and it's made of wood

    amazin'

  6. Rob
    Coat

    Love it, but...

    "DARPA*, the renowned Pentagon crazyscience bureau whose nuttiness can only be properly expressed in terms of a conceptual Tardis-style hyperdimensional fruitcake, able to hold many times more nuts than can fit within its apparent measurements"

    Are you sure your reffering to DARPA and not some new breakfast ceral.

    Mine's the one with the pockets that don't work until high speed

  7. Jason
    Thumb Up

    @ Jonathan

    "Would it have prevented 9/11, 7/7 or any other number?"

    With a bit of luck it will stop them 118 guys running around the streets

  8. Flocke Kroes Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Why a barrel roll?

    I am sitting in my hypersonic bomber, and ground troops call in an airstrike. I fly over and suddenly notice that the bombs are attached to the top of my aircraft. Its a good thing my aircraft can do a barrel roll or I would never be able to by those allies^W journalists^W people.

    I am sitting in my supersonic fighter and a boat load of Somali pirates are rowing towards towards my carrier. They suddenly appear on my radar as they leap into the sky. A launch a missile and illuminate the pirates with my radar so the missile can stay on course. Its a good thing my fighter can do a barrel roll because my radar won't point upwards and those pirates are gyrating all over the sky.

    I am in my space plane on my way to moon base alpha when all of a sudden there is a massive nuclear explosion at the base. There is a big heat shield on the belly of the plane. Luckily I can do a barrel roll and duck and cover behind that.

    Seriously, is there a reason for a modern aircraft to be able to do a barrel roll?

  9. Colin
    Thumb Up

    hyperdimensional fruitcake .....

    god thats hilarious ....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    @Colin

    >is there a reason for a modern aircraft to be able to do a barrel roll?

    So we can watch films like this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ546BEps

    Obviously

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    turing circle ?

    Can any one paste some light on this,

    If I'm going at mach 6 or 7, and I want to turn, say to go back home, or to change target, how many miles would I cover before I have completed the turn, or would it be 'quicker' to go around the world and try again ?

    Now is that the ultimate 'touch and go' ?

  12. Richard

    re. Why a barrel roll?

    It looks good at the air shows.

  13. michael

    DARPA

    "DARPA*, the renowned Pentagon crazyscience bureau whose nuttiness can only be properly expressed in terms of a conceptual Tardis-style hyperdimensional fruitcake, able to hold many times more nuts than can fit within its apparent measurements"

    I think the DARPA might be my favrot orgisnation now

  14. Alistair
    Coat

    Barrel roll

    As in, pork barrel?

    More seriously, I believe the aforementioned manoeuvre is there as a test of flight control, demonstrating that the craft, an addition to being faster than a very fast thing indeed, can also be controlled in flight.

    Hopefully the in-flight breakfast will consist of scrambled-eggs, and not the inedible fare offered by American Airlines?

  15. Jason
    Coat

    @ AC

    From my RAF Days I remember an SR-71 trying to land in the UK didn't slow down in tome and had to make a U turn to get to Mildenhall.

    It took most of Europe as it was still doing Mach 3 at the time

    If an Aircraft can Barrel Roll it has the capability to launch Nuclear Weapons as they are released as the aircraft launches as it rolls through Vertical as it turns away (Runs away from the blast).

    Conventional warheads are released while the aircraft is level.

    = Mine is the one with the Tactical Air Launch manual in the pocket

  16. Arch Lineberger

    Aren't you lucky!

    Isn't it interesting that ARPA (renamed DARPA in 1993) is the organization that originated the means for you to spew your invective.

    "DARPA*, the renowned Pentagon crazyscience bureau whose nuttiness can only be properly expressed in terms of a conceptual Tardis-style hyperdimensional fruitcake, able to hold many times more nuts than can fit within its apparent measurements."

    Perhaps the "nuts" from the "hyperdimensional fruitcake" should protect you from the "crazyyscience" called the Internet that sprang from their ARAPANET.

    Arch Lineberger

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    That'll be one keyboard and monitor please

    Because after reading: "DARPA*, the renowned Pentagon crazyscience bureau whose nuttiness can only be properly expressed in terms of a conceptual Tardis-style hyperdimensional fruitcake, able to hold many times more nuts than can fit within its apparent measurements." My keyboard and monitor are rather damp with coffee. I think you may have hit critical mass when it comes to describing DARPA but I look forward to future descriptions.

    Oh and Arch Lineberger, here is a dollar go buy a sense of humor and lighten up for fucks sake.

  18. Chris G Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Don't stop

    Invective is the word for it ! Funny is though.

    Paris, whom I have renamed Spanner as she tightens my nuts.

  19. Nathan Meyer

    Shrieking Nerd Laughter

    Good thing I was working at home today.

    Cat will never be the same, though.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    can they go fast enough to

    a silly question perhaps but can these ramjets go fast enough to escape gravity allowing for the space between enough air to ramjet and real space ?

    what is the distance you need to cover to do it and if not as i suspect how much conventional rocket fuil would be needed to boost such a craft from these ramjet speeds to get to gio stationary orbit.

    i guess the hypothetical question is, can this new ramjet help to make cheaper space flights in combination with other tech such as the virgin one uses to go up and come back down safely perhaps!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ jason

    erm... an aircraft performing a barrel roll will not "roll through vertical"

    did you mean a loop? (half loop if lofting nukes)

    or is it some complicated perform-half-twist-while-doing-half-loop jobby?

    paris because we both need edumacating.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    with apologies to jason

    i edumacted myself using wicultpedia and what i thought was a barrel roll is in fact an aileron roll.

    Also, i think i just made my eyes bleed by using "edumacted" and "wicultpedia" in the same sentence.

    my bad.:S

  23. Jason
    Thumb Up

    Apology

    Accepted

    lol

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @re a barrel roll

    I appreciate air shows and the aircraft paraded and flown at them, I have my douts that this plane doing a barrel roll wouldb e of much use or appreciated, especially at mach6+ , even if your eyes were quick enough to catch it, which I doubt, I am certain that your 1.3 megapixel Nokia cam would probably self destruct in a fit of pique.

  25. BioTube
    Stop

    (D)ARPA

    Let's not forget that they invented(or at least envisioned) cloud computing back in the late fifties/early sixties(look up Multics sometime). While they do have more misses then hits, some of those hits were at the edge of the net. So your "hyperdimensional fruitcake" is a necessity to how we live(though the term would probably be misinterpreted here).

  26. Mr Mark V Thomas
    Flame

    Re: Ordinary JP-7 fuel...

    The main reason why Liquid Hydrogen fuel was mooted for hypersonic aircraft, was it was used to combat kinetic heating, as the Cryogenic fuel was heated by the airframe, thus dissipating heat & converting it back into it's gaseous state, before reaching the scramjet for combustion...

    JP-7 was the fuel used on the SR-71 Blackbird, & was specially refined to have a high flash point, for the Blackbird's J58 "Turbo-ramjet" engines to use...

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