US hypersonic aircraft crashes seconds into military test flight
LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - An unmanned experimental aircraft designed to fly six times the speed of sound broke apart over the Pacific Ocean seconds into a military test flight due to a faulty control fin, the United States Air Force said on Wednesday.
The problem with the fin on the craft known as the Waverider or X-51A was identified in a test flight on Tuesday, 16 seconds after a rocket booster on the remotely monitored craft was ignited to propel it forward, the Air Force said in a statement.
Fifteen seconds later, when the X-51A separated from the rocket booster, it lost control due to a "faulty control fin," e statement said.
The 31 seconds of flight fell far short of the military's goal for the X-51A to fly for five minutes.