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America’s Fastest Spy Plane May Be Back—and Hypersonic

by:Tuowei     2019-06-07

For years, Lockheed Martin

Has been developing a successor to one of the fastest aircraft in the world, SR-

71 Black Bird, Cold War reconnaissance plane of the United StatesS.

The Air Force retired about thirty years ago.

Officials at Lockheed said that the supersonic SR-72—

Called the son of a black bird by a trade magazine'

Can Fly before 2030

But a rather curious speech at the aerospace conference last week by a skunk factory executive at Lockheed suggested that SR-

It may already exist.

Speaking of the detailed details of the company's design and manufacturing, Jack O'Banion, vice president of Lockheed, said that due to recent computing power and design tools, 'digital transformation' has made it possible to develop high-speed supersonic speeds. Then—

Let's say O'Banion deliberately chooses the verb tense.


'Without digital transformation, the aircraft you see there can't be built,' obanion said, standing next to an artist's rendering of the supersonic aircraft . '.

'In fact, it was impossible five years ago.

The supersonic speed is suitable for speeds above Mach 5, or 5 times the speed of the sound. The SR-

71 cruise at Mach 3.

Over 2,000 miles per hour, about 85,000 feet miles per hour.

Computer processing power and new tools allow three

O'bannin said at the annual science and technology forum of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics near Orlando that the size design of the supercharged stamping engine. (

The over-combustion stamping engine refers to the engine combustion that occurs at supersonic speed, which increases the complexity of the project. )

O'Banion added a little bit of Hollywood to the engineering demo, comparing the digital advances in 3D design to the build process that Tony Stark adopted in the movie Iron Man.

'We can't make our own engines --

If we try to produce five years ago, it will melt into slag, 'o'banin said.

'But now, we can digitally print the engine into the material of the engine itself with a very complex cooling system and let the engine survive multiple fires of daily operation.

He said: 'The aircraft is also fast at a high supersonic speed, and the engine is reliable to start. half-

Ten years ago, he added, developers 'couldn't have built it even if we conceived it.

'Of course, none of the talks at the skunk factory executives confirmed that Lockheed Martin was preparing to submit a copy to the Pentagon.

The secret supersonic aircraft did not disclose to what extent the project might be progressing.

It is also not clear whether such a plane will carry a pilot or run as a drone. (

The skunk factory is Lockheed's 75-year-

Old senior development project department in California. )

The company declined to respond to comments from obani Weng.

Spokesman Melissa Dalton said in an email that the defense contractor 'continues to push forward and test the technology, which will be beneficial for supersonic flight . '.

'Reusable supersonic systems (RHS)

Is a long-term solution that will be possible through this path

Find the work we are doing today

At the same time, an air force spokesman said only that the military had no information about the project 'at this time.

It's not new to talk about Lockheed's supersonic program.

In fact, executives discussed the location of the project in last June, so much so that defense reporter Taylor rogalway called it 'very special '. ” (

The title of his article is 'the mysterious supersonic SR-72? ”)

Richard Aboulafia, defense analyst at Teal Group, said: 'There may be a great distance between prototype development and actual combat capabilities . '.

And the military has a history of publicly demonstrating new advanced aircraft, many years after their prototype was delivered.

Nevertheless, SR-

Aboulafia said that up to now, 72 jobs could be a fully digital job funded by a large amount of 'black budget' allocations that go up to billions over time

Any supersonic capability may also be included in a long-term

Launch a missile in front of a real plane

For decades, with the Air Force and NASA driving rockets, the basic physics of supersonic flight has been understoodpowered X-

1960 seconds and X above Mach 6-

43 hit Mach 96 in 2004.

Boeing recently

Driving an experimental spacecraft X-

51 multiplier, to Mach 5. 1 in May 2013.

Despite this, the supersonic project still faces numerous design challenges, Aboulafia said, comparing the engineering barrier of the supercharged stamping engine to 'race lighting known in the hurricane '.

'This is one of the reasons why there is no supersonic aircraft in service today --although U. S.

Officials expressed concern about China and Russia's ambitions to use the technology.

For the Pentagon, such a speed would represent a new form of strategic deterrence in which the supersonic bomber could penetrate the enemy's airspace, shoot and leave before the state's time to react.

However, Aboulafia noted that this capacity could also be considered an unstable development if the US government does not act. S.

The opponent decided to respond pre-emptively to the existence of the aircraft.

Given the advances in satellite surveillance capabilities and the planned B-

21 Rader, precision bomber from Northrop Grumman

Is expected to replace the old Air Force B-1 cavalry and B-52s. The B-

The production and maintenance costs of 21 aircraft at least 97 billion may be as high as $100, and the first is expected in the medium term2020s.

America’s Fastest Spy Plane May Be Back—and Hypersonic

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