Imagine an aircraft that can fly at rocket speeds, seven
times the speed of sound. NASA engineers are preparing for the
first in a series of test flights that will turn imagination
into reality with the X-43A and its hypersonic engine.

The first of three scheduled test flights of NASA’s scramjet-
propelled aircraft could come as early as June 2. A second
flight is scheduled for this winter and a final X-43A flight
is set for late next year.

Typical of any “X,” or experimental program, X-43A will fly
only when weather conditions and all technical factors point
to the best chance of success.

The X-43A, 12-feet long with a 5-foot wingspan, will be
dropped from a B-52 bomber flying from NASA’s Dryden Flight
Research Center, Edwards, CA. After being boosted by a Pegasus
rocket, the X43A will fly at speeds approaching Mach 7 before
splashing into the Pacific Ocean.

If the first flight occurs Saturday, June 2, a press
conference will be held a couple of hours after the B-52
carrier aircraft returns to base. NASA Television will carry
the news conference and will air video replays of the X-43A

Two-way question and answer capability will be available at
both Dryden and NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.

NASA TV is broadcast on GE-2, transponder 9C, C-Band, located
at 85 degrees West longitude, frequency 3880 MHz. Polarization
is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz.

Beginning Thursday, May 31, regularly updated status reports
on the flight of X-43A will be available by calling Dryden at
661/276-2564, or on the Internet at:

Additional information on the X-43A and NASA’s Hyper-X program
can also be accessed at the following internet sites: