Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More SR-72


From Wired's Danger Room comes this let down...


...the story's assertion that the plane was being designed to go "Mach 6." That's way, way, way faster than anything the Air Force has in its inventory -- about double what the original, ultra-speedy Blackbird could do. Yeah, a Darpa-funded vehicle briefly hit Mach 10 the other day; but that was after it was launched into space, and came falling back to Earth. The X-51 hypersonic cruise missile is on track for a Mach 5 flight test in '09. But it hasn't flown, yet. And controlling a plane is a lot harder than controlling a missile.
"The most advanced things we've got are still just engines sitting in a wind tunnel," the source said. What's being reported as the SR-72 "is not in the realm of science fiction. But it's close."
Now, Darpa does have a hypersonic program called "Blackswift" that, according to a military press release, is aiming towards a "flight demonstration vehicle... powered by a combination turbine engine and ramjet, an all-in-one power plant. The turbine engine accelerates the vehicle to around Mach 3 before the ramjet takes over and boosts the vehicle up to Mach 6." That's not entirely dissimilar to what's described as the "SR-72."
But here's the thing: according to that Defense News story, the new plane was being developed for the Air Force, right? Trouble is, the Air Force hasn't put any money into the project. There have been some talks, sure. But it's all "pre-decisional," our source says.


Is it too much to ask to leave us with our illusions? I mean first the pin-ups in our favorite men's magazines have to tell us about their boyfriends/husbands and now you have to tell us that these airplanes really don't exisit.
Yeah, I knew that...just like I knew all along I wasn't going to bag Eva Longoria...but it was nice to have that illusion for even a brief moment.
THANKS for runining it for me there Mr. Reality...JEEZE...could you please be more of a buzz kill? Next thing you know you'll be telling me there is no Santa Claus.

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