MACH 10 SURFER - Boards Windsurfing

Windsurfing Magazine




The name Jim Drake is written in to windsurfing legend, as one of the original
partnership which brought windsurfing to the wider world. However, another –
and equally impressive – claim to fame is that Jim was involved in the design
of the X15 rocket plane, which set a speed record of 6.7 Mach in 1967 – a record
which has lasted to this day. We mention this because NASA has been attempting
to beat that record with its own hypersonic X-43 – an unmanned 4 metre surfboard
shaped jet, designed to be dropped along with its booster rocket from a B52
and allegedly capable of Mach 10. But it was not to be – the X-43A and its booster
rocket went out of control about eight seconds after ignition during the June
2 launch over the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. A Mach 10 missile
going berserk was not something NASA really wanted, so they hit the destruct
button and the thing blew itself apart. NASA is now doing some serious head
scratching, and Jim’s record continues on!


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