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Old 08-10-2011, 07:05 PM  
Saul Good Saul Good is online now
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US military to launch fastest-ever plane

US military to launch fastest-ever plane

Unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 can travel from London to Sydney in less than an hour


By the time you finish reading this sentence, the Falcon HTV-2, the fastest plane ever built, could have flown 18 miles. It would get from London to Sydney in less than an hour, while withstanding temperatures of almost 2,000C, hotter than the melting point of steel.

At 3pm BST on Thursday , the US Defence Advance Research Projects Agency will launch the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 on the back of a rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. If all goes to plan, engineers will launch the Falcon HTV-2 to the edge of space, before detaching the plane and guiding it on a hypersonic flight that will reach speeds of 13,000mph (about 20 times the speed of sound) on its return to Earth.

The Falcon started life in 2003, part of a US military research project to build a plane that could reach (and potentially deliver bombs to) any part of the world in less than an hour.

The plane has been tested in computer models and wind tunnels, but they can only simulate speeds up to Mach 15 (11,400mph). A real test is the only way to determine if the plane will remain flying at high speeds.

Thursday's flight will also test the carbon composite materials designed to withstand the extreme temperatures the plane will experience on its skin and also the navigation systems that will control its trajectory as it moves at almost four miles per second.

The design and flight pattern of the plane has been tweaked since an aborted test flight in April last year. Nine minutes into that mission, which succeeded in flying for 139 seconds at Mach 22 (16,700mph), the onboard computer detected an anomaly and ordered the plane to ditch into the ocean for safety reasons.

Unlike most other rocket launches, this one will not be shown live online, though it will be possible to follow the plane's progress via tweets from @DARPA_News.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...t-plane-falcon
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:18 AM   #76
ROYC75 ROYC75 is offline
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It traveled so fast it out ran all communications, forever, Gone in The Wind!
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:22 AM   #77
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One must wonder, if the 1st one lost communications and crashed into the ocean,did they find the 1st one ? BTW,crashing into the ocean at what speed ? Any damage ?

If this one lost communications, will they be able to find it before the rest of the world does?

That is some serious speed, the heat it should put off would be great.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:45 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KcMizzou View Post
Just think. This is what they're willing to talk about publicly. Imagine the shit that's kept secret.
Exactly, by the time the publics heard of something they're already field testing something better.

Its a double edged sword, but i'm a defense spending lover... if the US isnt #1 in technology, an uglier alternative will be.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:39 PM   #79
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:50 PM   #80
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It crashed because it was made in china wasn't it?
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