posted on May, 20 2015 @ 04:30 PM
Some rad SR-72 speculation, presented with the sleek, dazzling veneer of the 1980's:
"The SR-71 will be replaced, but probably not by a specially constructed reconnaissance aircraft. Instead, research is now under way (with the
approval of President Reagan) on a trans-atmospheric vehicle (TAV) -- sometimes called ... the x-30 -- which is to perform several missions, one of
the foremost being reconnaissance.
Although the spaceplane's configuration and precise role varies according to the company doing the study, its central concept centers on a manned
vehicle that will take off from a standard runway, climb to the fringe of space at dazzling speed, orbit the earth if necessary, and then return to
terra firma the way a standard airplane would. Some envision the craft as a second-generation space shuttle able to carry twenty-thousand-pound
cargoes to low orbit, while others think of it as a multirole space bomber that will be able to attack any place on earth within ninety minutes of
taking off. It is to have a ceiling of about thirty miles in one plan, and more than twice that in another. Some designers think it ought to be
rocket-powered, though most would like it to be propelled by a highly advanced supersonic combustion ramjet. If it turns out that the spaceplane is
ramjet-propelled, its fuel, ironically, will be liquid hydrogen, thereby providing an odd vindication for the Skunk Works engineers who conceived of
Suntan in 1956.
The Skunk Works, in fact, is designing a trans-atmospheric vehicle though would be 205 feet long (or 83 feet longer than the space shuttle orbiter)
and would be able to climb to a hundred miles* at speeds of about seventeen thousand miles an hour.** Lockheed's entry is big because the company
prudently sees the vehicle as having potential civilian as well as military applications. It could fly from New York to Los Angeles in twelve minutes,
reaching an altitude of three hundred thousand feet***, a Lockheed-California press release claims.
But it is the military mission which drives the spaceplane, which, in the view of DARPA and the Air Force, will have at least three advantages over
the shuttle: it will be launchable on immediate notice; it will be able to go up during severe weather conditions if necessary; and it will operate in
both air and space, giving it greater mission flexibility.
"A TAV could react quickly from the continental U.S. to any global incident with the versatility to provide reconnaissance, force projection,
strategic defense and interdiction support as desired," the deputy for development planning in the Air Force's Aeronautical Systems Division told an
engineering meeting, adding that the craft's most promising role appears to be as a reconnaissance platform. An aeronautical consultant at the same
meeting reported that he had gotten an enthusiastic response from the "reconnaissance community" when asked whether its members would prefer flying
missions at Mach 3 and one hundred thousand feet or at Mach 29 and forty-five miles." ****
What, was the military on coc aine too lol?