Ship Bumps X-51 Test

The Air Force has had to postpone the planned May 25 maiden free flight of the X-51A hypersonic air vehicle because a freighter was transiting a portion of the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range several hundred miles off the California coast. A Navy P-3 aircraft spotted the ship as it was scanning the potential splashdown zone. The May 25 release from Edwards AFB, Calif., from which a B-52 would initially carry the X-51 aloft, said, “Weather permitting, the X-51A will make its first hypersonic flight attempt Wednesday May 26.”