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Crashed X-51A Test Results Released

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the better-luck-next-time dept.

The Military 48

cylonlover writes "The United States Air Force (USAF) has released the results of last August's third test of the X-51a Waverider, which resulted in the crash of the unmanned scramjet demonstrator. At a press teleconference featuring the Program Manager for Air Force Research Laboratory, Charles Brink, it was confirmed that a malfunctioning fin was the cause of the crash. However, engineers are confident of correcting the fault in time for the fourth test flight scheduled for (Northern Hemisphere) late spring or early summer of next year."

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48 comments

Do not attempt to land (-1, Offtopic)

2.7182 (819680) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773317)

All the planets are yours, except Europa.

Re:Do not attempt to land (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#41775915)

'All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace.'

Someone will be by later to revoke your geek card :P

Re:Do not attempt to land (2)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about a year and a half ago | (#41776257)

Says the man who quoted the movie and not the book

Re:Do not attempt to land (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year and a half ago | (#41807543)

Says the man who forgot that the book was an adaptation of the screenplay co-written by Clarke and Kubrick and released after the film.

Less Broken than Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41773341)

I can't even click the links on the homepage in chrome.

Fucking Amatures.

The defense contractractors sucking down government cheese at mach 9 would do better, but it would cost the taxpayers $5 billion.

Paid for with new debt, of course.

Short Report: (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773361)

This should be easy, no?

1) Procure working torque wrench of sufficient size and strength.
2) *use* the damned thing next time.

I mean, really - not even one page of paper for the summary.

No (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41773557)

This is not as simple as a loose bolt.

..the upper right-hand fin unlocked and deployed while the booster was still firing...but the booster’s guidance system managed to maintain the proper angle...After the other three fins on the cruiser deployed and powered up, the booster fell away, but the cruiser’s onboard computer couldn't maintain control because the electrically-driven actuator of the fourth fin was damaged or locked in place...

So here is the proper summary:

1. fin deployed early, but that was somewhat okay
2. three more fins deployed normally
3. the last fin did not deploy at all due to an electrical/solenoid problem

So no this would not require a torque wrench, unless you tape a multimeter to it and start whacking the solenoid mid-flight for good measure.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41775363)

3 out of 4 sounds like an off by 1 problem to me and as CS101 newbie maybe. Should it be a while or repeat instruction

Launched:
  Do i = 1 to 4
        deploy fin(I)
        if RC 0 call Fin_Stuck
        wait for booster to fall off
End do ;

Fin_Stuck:
      Check if booster is still firing
      Apply a shitload of extra current and voltage to fin(I)
      Status_check(fin(I))
      if RC 0 GOTO SNAFU

Perfectly explainable - the contractors....

Re:No (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#41780257)

> unless you tape a multimeter to it and start whacking the solenoid mid-flight for good measure.

That needs to go straight to youtube...

Re:Short Report: (5, Funny)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773595)

This should be easy, no?

1) Procure working torque wrench of sufficient size and strength.

Are you kidding? With hammers costing the gov't $600 a pop, how much do you think a "working torque wrench of sufficient size and strength" goes for? It's probably cheaper to just build another X-51.

Re:Short Report: (1)

Eezyville (1756170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41777851)

You knoe those hammers don't actually cost $600. The extra money is going into black projects ;)

Re:Short Report: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41778855)

You know how much the companies I used to work at would charge for a hammer if you ordered it from them? Well north of $600. First we'd have to do the paperwork to get a part number for the hammer, then provide specification sheets and inspection criteria for the hammer, then we'd have to load it into the MRP system, then buy it, track it through recieving, accounts payable, get a check cut, inspect it, package it for shipping, plus the paperwork for billing,accounts receivable, ship it, and then there's the whole sales side of thing - those orders don't take themselves, you know. IIRC, a PO cost $600 to process, establishing a P/N was $1000. Toss in the rest of it, it's a few grand for the hammer.

Should've just bought it at Ace.

And then... (1)

chfriley (160627) | about a year and a half ago | (#41779603)

And then you'd get part way done and the government would want it an ounce lighter, 1.23 inches shorter, and .08 inches narrower.

You see, this was not COTS, but custom.

RTFA (3, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773835)

http://www.gizmag.com/x-51a-waverider-third-test-results/24665/ [gizmag.com]

However, about 15.5 seconds into the flight the upper right-hand fin unlocked and deployed while the booster was still firing. ... Indications are that the fin deployed because a random vibration issue caused the assembly to vibrate harmonically while in boost phase, so that the actuator responded and sprang open. ... Brink says that the simplest fix will be to deploy the fins on the cruiser about one or two seconds after being dropped from the B-52 instead of later when the vibration problem occurred so that the fins are powered up and protected from damage.

You're assertion is that the problem is the same as tightening the lug nuts on a car tire. The only lug nuts I see are the ones rattling around in your empty skull.

This aircraft needs to achieve almost Mach 5 before the engine even starts, so it requires an air drop and a rocket booster even to start working. It operates in a test domain that cannot be completely simulated or created in a ground test. This is exactly the kind of failure that can only be encountered by a live lest. You have to build it, fly it, and see if it breaks. There is no other way.

Given you complete lack of technical understanding, I would suggest that you stop wasting people's time on Slashdot and go somewhere more suited to your mental level. I hear that Disney has a lot of nice stuff for children. I think you would fit right in.

Re:RTFA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41773983)

Someone (anyone), please bitchslap this guy down a notch. Fucker needs to learn a lesson!

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41775921)

Why? Because he rained on your first attempt to raise yourself by putting down other people's efforts?
You're the one needs a lesson.

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41775525)

A novelty account on *Slashdot*? What is the world coming to...

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41776739)

Given you complete lack of technical understanding, I would suggest that you stop wasting people's time on Slashdot and go somewhere more suited to your mental level.

Do you realize you just told 80% of the slashdot readership to fuck off?

Re:RTFA (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#41779561)

Given you complete lack of technical understanding, I would suggest that you stop wasting people's time on Slashdot and go somewhere more suited to your mental level.

Do you realize you just told 80% of the slashdot readership to fuck off?

It's a start.
Maybe he should just spring for the /. platinum account.

Re:RTFA (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41777767)

You're assertion is that the problem is the same as tightening the lug nuts on a car tire.

Your grammar is poor.

Re:Short Report: (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773869)

This should be easy, no?

1) Procure working torque wrench of sufficient size and strength.
2) *use* the damned thing next time.

I mean, really - not even one page of paper for the summary.

Wrong tool.

These are Engineers .

If the BFH you used didn't work, get a bigger one.

I figured out the problem. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41773465)

Not enough money poured into it. Just a bit more corporate welfare is all that's needed.

Now let's all vote for Mitt Romney so we can have enough money to go around.

It'll work fine.

Whereas if Obama is re-elected, we'll need to see about paper airplanes.

So the question you have to ask yourself is, why do liberals hate America?

Re:I figured out the problem. (-1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773497)

Are you even reading what you're writing?

You don't make any sense.

You appear to be liberal, but hate the government.

Liberals started loving the government on January 20, 2009, didn't you get the memo?

Learn to use paragraphs, they are your friend.

Re:I figured out the problem. (2)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773607)

You don't make any sense.

Code for:

"I'm sorry I don't understand!"..."Can you put it in simpler English, please?"

Learn to use paragraphs, they are your friend.

Write better English thus:

Learn to paragraph...

Re:I figured out the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41773849)

You appear to be liberal, but hate the government.

Liberals started loving the government on January 20, 2009, didn't you get the memo?

Liberals hate government by the corporations, for the corporations, and of the corporations.

Didn't you get the marching orders?

Re:I figured out the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41773499)

And the question I should you is, do you hate yourself? Why the fuck does everything have to be about politics for you?

Re:I figured out the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41773817)

Wait, you're making broad characterizations about an Anonymous Coward??

For all you know, that's the only political statement that said poster has made all year. Besides it's government spending, that's always political. Always.

Waverider Failed... (1)

ChefJeff789 (2020526) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773751)

...but on the other hand, the Dragon Rider was successful in defeating John Malkovich... oh $%!#...I was supposed to finish that program for the fins! Aerospace Engineers are easily distracted by mediocre fantasy novels...

Acronym expansion (-1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41773859)

I love how the submitter put (USAF) in there, just in case anyone didn't know who the USAF was. Well, I thought it was pretty damned obvious, especially in context with X-51 and the Air Force Research Laboratory, but hey, progress. Don't you love those Slashdot summaries written by someone obviously close to the program? Someone who doesn't bother to expand acronyms and simply assumes everyone knows just as much about the program as he does? Yeah, I freaking hate those. But this is perhaps a bit too far in the other direction. Eh, who am I kidding, probably some euroweenie out there who lives a sufficiently cloistered life. The funny thing is defining the acronym is actually superfluous as he doesn't bother to re-use it later in the submission. So why even bother? Editors, where are you on this?

Re:Acronym expansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41774675)

Editors, where are you on this?

This is Slashdot. We don't need no stinking editors.

Re:Acronym expansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41776009)

I find it surprising that the submitter doesn't explain an acronym in a quoted text, but instead just puts the acronym after the full name, as if the acronym was more likely to be understood. And then he doesn't use the acronym ever again.

Re:Acronym expansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41777733)

I find it surprising that the submitter doesn't explain an acronym in a quoted text, but instead just puts the acronym after the full name, as if the acronym was more likely to be understood. And then he doesn't use the acronym ever again.

Actually, it's correct to define the acronym by placing it in parentheses immediately after the phrase that the acronym replaces. The phrase does not need to be quoted. You are correct, however, that you don't need to define an acronym if you only use the phrase once.

Re:Acronym expansion (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41778517)

I think you are wandering a bit off topic (OT) with this one.

Re:Acronym expansion (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41780985)

Sometimes you define the acronym if used only once because the acronym is more recognizable to the majority than the fully spelled out term. You use both the full term and the acronym to be certain that everyone can understand what you are referring to.

For example: as a military network guy I immediately recognize the term NIPRNET but you, as a civilian network guy better recognize Non-Classified Internet Protocol Network, or maybe not :-O

(Northern Hemisphere) late spring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41774305)

At last! Someone in the northern hemisphere actually realises that the seasons are different between the hemisphere. Must be a European, all americans (living in america) I've ever talked to have no idea, some even think that summer is caused by the earth moving closer to the sun.

Re: (Northern Hemisphere) late spring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41776543)

blasphemy!! obviously its the sun moving closer to earth any true american would know that

Re: (Northern Hemisphere) late spring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41779189)

What kinda' 'Merican do you call yourself? You must have got one of them wussy liberalized edumacations with all that evolution and global warmin' mumbo jumbo. Any God fearin' American knows that everything, ceptin' our moon; goes around the sun in big circles. That sun cant be movin all closer and stuff cause it's stuck in the center there.

Now it is true that the sun gets warmer in the summer time, cause that is where all our heats is comin' from. I think i figured out why too!! They telled us that the sun is burning lots of gas. Now that aint like my Chevy's gas its more like my fart gas, and as any red-blooded American will know from 'sperience; fart gas can burn real good like. Well that means that the sun must get more faart gas during the summer so it makes sense that there must be some aliens living on there and summer is there sports season. They watch their sun sports, drink their sun beer and fart their sun farts and when them "sun sports alien farts" burn it makes the sun hotter and then we get summer here on earth. Its how God made it and he made it good.

Makes perfect sense! So see any of them weinies that tell ya our American edumacation system is messed up is only right 'bout them damn liberal wussy states, the rest of us is good.

Bloody Finland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41774615)

I suggest a revenge strike.

Optomists (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41778683)

From TFA:

However, engineers are confident of correcting the fault in time for the fourth test flight

but then

Until the exact cause of the fault is determined it won't be possible to correct it with certainty,

Makes you wonder which statement was intended to keep funding alive and which one was aimed at securing more engineering time in the schedule.

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