HomeNewsArticle Display

Test sets world land speed record

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFPN) -- The 846th Test Squadron here set the world land speed record for a railed vehicle of 6,453 mph, or Mach 8.5, April 30.  The six-second event created a flash as the rocket-propelled sled traveled 16,120 feet.  (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Heather Newcomb)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFPN) -- The 846th Test Squadron here set the world land speed record for a railed vehicle of 6,453 mph, or Mach 8.5, April 30. The six-second event created a flash as the rocket-propelled sled traveled 16,120 feet. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Heather Newcomb)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFPN) -- A 192-pound, fully instrumented Missile Defense Agency payload traveled a little more than three miles in 6.04 seconds April 29, validating Holloman's high-speed test track hypersonic upgrades and setting a world land speed record.

Air Force Materiel Command experts conducted the test in New Mexico's Tularosa Basin where Air Force officials witnessed a four-stage, rail-bound rocket sled reach Mach 8.5 or 6,416 mph. That equates to more than 31 football fields per second.

The sled broke the standing world land speed record of Mach 8.1 for travel on rails, also set here in October 1982. Lt. Col. James "J.J." Jolliffe, 846th Test Squadron commander, said the sled hit its target with energy equal to a car hitting a wall at 2,020 mph.

The test culminated the facility's Hypersonic Upgrade Program which began in 1998, according to Jolliffe. The program significantly increases the test track experts’ ability to meet a variety of hypersonic (more than five times the speed of sound) test needs for the Department of Defense.

Jolliffe said the test demonstrated improvements in rocket sled design, rail alignment, rocket propulsion and modeling and simulation. These new capabilities will be used on an upcoming missile defense warhead test program.

"This is the culmination of five years and $20 million, and more than doubles our chances for success in testing," Jolliffe said. "The test's success is a testament to the professionalism of the contractor, civilian and military team."

"This is rocket science," Lt. Col. Russ Kurtz, 846th Test Squadron operations director, said to guests and media representatives attending the event. "We're fighting tomorrow's wars today."

A detachment of AFMC's Air Armament Center, the 846th TS is the world's premier rocket sled test facility and the track is the only hypersonic ground test facility in the world capable of achieving the speeds required for these simulations, Jolliffe said. It provides the bridge between laboratory-type experiments and full-scale flight test, and is the Defense Department's "center of expertise" for all ejection-seat testing.

The track is also the lead facility for all supersonic (one to five times the speed of sound) tracks and has been designated as the test organization for theater missile defense hypersonic warhead lethality validation.

Experts said of the more than three miles the sled traveled during the test, 11,000 feet were through a 184-inch in diameter helium tube. Helium decreases air friction and simulates upper atmospheric flight conditions.

Capt. Steve Georgian, 846th TS acquisitions management chief, described the sled hitting the helium as "like a jet hitting its afterburners."

Thirteen rocket motors propelled the sled during the test, including two stages of single Super Roadrunner motors designed specifically for this mission. Each stage is attached to its own part of the sled, Georgian said.

As one stage burns out, its sled detaches and slows down while the next stage is ignited. The final stage carries the payload to its target.

"This is the longest, straightest, fastest track in the world and it's great to work here," said Kurtz. (Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command News Service)

Engage

Twitter
.@Team_Tinker, @HillAFBUtah and @366FW #Airmen participated in the Exercise Agile Thunder 21-02, designed to sharpe… https://t.co/kvRhWgb1Ig
Twitter
Happy Birthday Air Force Reserve! The @usafreserve's mission is to provide combat-ready forces to fly, fight and… https://t.co/S0gU4oBfaO
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: In honor of #NationalWeldingMonth we salute our experts across the command who keep our platforms and systems #mission ready!…
Twitter
“This change will improve @Andrews_JBA’s ability to build multi-capable Airmen now and into the future as we work t… https://t.co/YfXlpIiY20
Twitter
“Everything AFCENT does starts and ends with the coalition.” - Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, commander of 9th Air Force… https://t.co/zT7pORj54Z
Twitter
“Mobility is increasingly playing an integral role in executing Agile Combat Employment, ensuring the Joint Force c… https://t.co/uZ4Jgy9soG
Twitter
We help our Airmen reach their full potential by putting #SafetyFirst. Congratulations and great job, all! #AimHigh https://t.co/5uLCs8dbBC
Twitter
Our military families experience a lot of changes, especially the children, and in April we celebrate the Month of… https://t.co/JrlVxzEbRB
Twitter
"We've made a lot of advances in the past few years, like opening up career fields in many countries to women, but… https://t.co/Hf2rblbuWZ
Twitter
"As a healthcare worker to say that ‘I trust it’, I’m going to demonstrate that I trust it and at the same time I t… https://t.co/F3Obpb8ciH
Twitter
.@AirNatlGuard and active-duty Airmen were deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan to conduct Dynamic F… https://t.co/LUzcvqyM9V
Twitter
#ICYMI - The #AirForce and @DoDSpaceForce is seeking feedback through a survey for the second Independent Disparity… https://t.co/E4tjTSXUEF
Twitter
RT @WrightPattAFB: Airmen provide vaccinations “These Airmen are so excited to be part of the solution for our nation to effectively move b…
Twitter
RT @KadenaAirBase: Airmen from the 18th Component Maintenance Squadron Hydraulics Shop ensure that #TeamKadena's aircraft are always ready…
Twitter
“It is good to remember how we got here and what it took for the previous generations to fight the battle of lettin… https://t.co/9gc1e2iaLd
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: When #Airmen are empowered, nothing should stand in their way of making positive change. #acceleratechangeorlose https://…
Twitter
Ending the spread of #COVID19 https://t.co/PCPw2vufLS
Twitter
Chaplain (Maj.) Gabriel Rios assumed the #AirForce's 1st stole at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The stole represents… https://t.co/BcgHvsKwjM
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,342,441
Follow Us