back to article X-51 hypersonic scramjet flight delayed by errant freighter

The X-51A Waverider scramjet test scheduled for yesterday has been delayed for 24 hours by a freighter wandering into the Pacific firing range where the trial flight is to take place. According to a statement issued by US spokesmen at Edwards airforce base - where the X-51's launch aircraft, a modified B-52 bomber operated by …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Least they didn't launch and hit it. The boat's crew would never have known what hit them!

  2. lawndart

    Sailors, eh?

    Probably didn't realise where they were and just thought they were orbiting the Isle of Sheppey.

  3. Ball boy
    Black Helicopters

    Wonder if...

    ..that errant ship had more aerials than most and wasn't there by mistake?

    /black helicopters for the obvious reasons

  4. andy gibson

    Was the ship

    a Russian "fishing trawler". The type with loads of sophisticated snooping gear in its hull instead of fish?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Probably an innocent Russian Freighter

    packed to the gills with electronic surveillance equipment.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Bad taste joke alert

    Now if this had been the North Koreans running the test...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad taste joke alert

      [Converting to a good taste joke]

      ...the X-51 would officially, instead of ditching, fly onwards and upwards into orbit to forever play revolutionary anthems composed by the Dear Leader.

  7. Christoph Silver badge

    At least they bother checking now

    They did manage to learn from what happened to the Lucky Dragon

  8. Across-the-pond Scum
    Black Helicopters

    Sure, unprofessional... no, professional ex-KGB more like it.

    Wasn't there already a failed test flight of one of these? They successfully launched and got like <5 seconds of telemetry before it fell apart.

    More than likely it was a case of Russian captain saying, "Da, Chinese contact told to park here and collect pieces."

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Time for something else then

    If they are keeping an eye out for surface shipping, then the Powers that Be must get cracking to deploy a submerible in that area quickly if they are to recover the "lost" testbed and develop the next generation equipment themselves...

    Though I notice that this article comes out at about the time of the rescheduled test. Hmmm.

    That's what I get for relying on El Reg for my top-secret intelligence. Zut!

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