Testing X-51 Antennas:

Boeing is working with the 412th Test Wing Hypersonic Flight Test Team at Edwards AFB, Calif., to test the antennas that will provide performance, air, engine, and other test data when the company’s X-51 Scramjet-Waverider begins flight tests. Boeing officials believe that the joint Air Force-Boeing X-51 hypersonic aircraft program could serve as an advanced technology demonstrator to arm the next-generation bomber. The test team is using Edward’s Benefield Anechoic Facility to test the antennas, one a flight termination system and the other a telemetry antenna. “We have to make sure we have good receiving and transmitting antennas before we actually fly the aircraft,” said 1st Lt. Richard Paek, X-51 lead project engineer at Edwards. The benefit of the anechoic chamber, according to Maj. Raimone Roberts, the 412th’s projects director, is that it enables testers to “isolate everything that is going on around so we can really ensure that antennas are picking up the right signals.” (Edwards report by SrA. Julius Reyes)