An unmanned experimental apparatus failed in the attempt to fly at six times the speed of sound.
Rocket X-51A Waverider was designed for speeds in 6 Mahov or 5800 kilometers per hour, after it has been dropped from a B-52 bomber off the coast of Southern California on Tuesday. Engineers calculated that it will retain its maximum speed for 5 minutes, doubling this figure compared with previous achievements.
As reported on Wednesday, the air force, the system managed stabilizer is not allowed to start the engine supersonic, which led to the collapse.
"Unfortunately, the problem with this subsystem has led to the collapse before we could start the engine supersonic," - said Charlie Brink of the Research Laboratory of the Air Force in Ohio.
Waverider missile successfully separated from the B-52 and launched a start-rocket booster as planned. Then had to start the engine and accelerate a hypersonic missile to 6 M. But instead, 15 seconds after separation from the launch rocket booster, Waverider lost control, making it impossible to test the hypersonic engine.
"All the evidence suggests that we have created all the conditions for starting the engine, and we are hoping for a successful test," - said Brink.
Pentagon tests hypersonic technology in order to strike at any point on the globe in a matter of minutes.
This was not the first setback for the Waverider. The test flight last year ended prematurely when, after failed attempts to restart the engine, X-15A fell into the Pacific Ocean.
During its first flight in 2010, X-15A reached a speed of up to five times the speed of sound for three minutes.
Currently, there is only one intact copy of the X-15A. The Air Force has not yet decided whether it would be made of its launch.