A typical X-34 flight consists of a drop from the L-1011, engine start and acceleration to the planned Mach number and altitude, and a coast phase, followed by re-entry and landing. Aircraft-type elevons, rudder, body flaps and speed brake provide control and trim during unpowered flight, aided by reaction control during the high-altitude coast phase. Thrust vector control governs pitch and yaw during flight under main engine propulsion.
The program is divided into two phases:
- In Phase1 the vehicle will be designed and built, and two envelope expansion flights limited to Mach 3.8 will be made.
- In Phase 2 25 flights throughout the range of achievable speeds in a 12-month period, from locations selected to assure operational experience over a variety of weather and environmental conditions.
As of March 1, 2001, the x-33 project as well as the x-34 project were discontinued by NASA. See the following
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