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DARPA, Air Force Planning New Hypersonic Craft Research

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency is partnering with the Air Force to examine the possibilities of hypersonic flight in an effort that aims to build on the successes of the recently concluded X-51A WaveRider program, Military.com reported this week.

Final details of the hypersonic exploratory project by DARPA, the Pentagon's special scientific research arm, are still being worked out.

“We had a very successful flight with X-51, showing hypersonic speeds. We’re currently setting up a follow-on program on that with DARPA that will be a joint Memorandum of Understanding,” Air Force Chief Scientist Mica Endsley said in an interview.

The unmanned X-51A aircraft in early May achieved hypersonic flight, reaching speeds of Mach 5.1, in its fourth and final test-run. Three other trial flights were deemed failures when they failed to achieve all programmed steps.

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