Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fast and Slow Airplanes -- May 5, 2013

On Wednesday, the last Boeing X-51a Waverider scramjet airplane launched from its B-52 host and used a rocket booster to reach Mach 4.8.  Then the scramjet fired and drove the plane up to Mach 5.2.  The engine ran long enough to burn up its entire four-minute fuel supply.  Reports like to say that at that speed, an airliner could travel from the west coast to the east in one hour.  Credit: Air Force photo by Bobbi Zapka

Friday morning, the Solar Impulse, a solar-powered airplane, took off from Moffett Field and flew to Phoenix in 18 hours and some minutes, on the first leg of an attempted flight across the United States using only solar power.  Solar Impulse cruises at 43 miles per hour.  I wish her a safe journey.  Credit: Across America 2013: Golden Gate Flight © Solar Impulse | J. Revillard

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