An unmanned untried aircraft known as the Waverider or X-51A designed to fly six times the speed of sound broke separately over the Pacific Ocean seconds into a military test flight due to a faulty control fin.
The difficulty with the fin on the craft was acknowledged in a test flight on Tuesday, 16 seconds after a rocket booster on the distantly monitored craft was ignited to propel it forward, the Air Force said in a statement.
Fifteen seconds later, when the X-51A separated from the rocket booster, it lost organize due to a "faulty manage fin," the statement said. The 31 seconds of flight fell far short of the military's goal for the X-51A to fly for five minutes.
The aircraft broke apart straight gone and fell into the Pacific Ocean near Point Mugu northwest of Los Angeles, said Daryl Mayer, a spokesman for the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.