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Lockheed Pushes for Hypersonic Aircraft

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posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 10:47 PM
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Lately the US Aerospace companies have been abuzz with potential DoD hypersonic contracts as the Pentagon watches China, Russia and the EU press forward with hypersonic weaponry. In light of this reality, during their annual Media Day, Lockheed's CEO Marillyn Hewson stated that Lockheed has a legacy of making fast aircraft and that they "are now producing a controllable, low-drag, aerodynamic configuration capable of stable operations from takeoff to subsonic, transonic, supersonic and hypersonic, to Mach 6.”

Analysis:

So finally after decades of conjecture, rumors and myths we have a US defense contractor stating that they are not only ready to build such a vehicle, but that they can have a demonstrator ready within 2 years!

Considering that it has been decades to get to this point technologically speaking; it seems within reason to assume that if they can produce a demonstrator within 2 years then there is tech already working that they can glean from.

If I were asked to read between the lines I would take it as a confirmation that SR-72/hypersonic/skyquake producing aircrafts are indeed flying. Obviously in one-off or limited production runs, but flying just the same.
But that is only my opinion. What's yours?

More on Ms Hewson's comments as well as one from Rob Weiss, the Skunkworks EVP:

“We are now producing a controllable, low-drag, aerodynamic configuration capable of stable operations from takeoff to subsonic, transonic, supersonic and hypersonic, to Mach 6.”
Lockheed CEO, Marillyn Hewson
March 15, 2016

"Lockheed will submit a proposal later this month, and expects a contract award in the middle of the year... A demonstrator aircraft will fly in the 2018 timeframe."
Lockheed Skunkworks EVP, Rob Weiss
March 15, 2016

"We’re proving a hypersonic aircraft can be produced at an affordable price... We estimate it will cost less than $1 billion to develop, build and fly a demonstrator aircraft the size of an F-22.”
Lockheed CEO, Marillyn Hewson
March 15, 2016

Source: www.defensenews.com...

(Its been many years since I've posted something - please forgive me if I have forgotten a protocol or two.)




posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 10:53 PM
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a reply to: intelgurl

At least two high flying, high speed platforms are flying. One was flying in the 90s, and a new one just recently joined the stable. Some of the things I have heard about it aren't far off from things that are being said now.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 11:15 PM
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a reply to: intelgurl

Welcome back! I've only heard tales of your awesomeness, but it's great to see you hanging around here!

From the dot-connecting and line inter-reading I've been doing, I've come to the same conclusion. There likely exists a progression of fastmovers culminating in the two systems Zaph just referenced, and I believe that the beginning of this successive family of systems traces back to around the time that the A-12 was retired in 1968.

Though I have a feeling that the combined-cycle technology posited for the Falcon as well as for the SR-72 is the new secret sauce for whatever Lockheed wants to build. From what I've pieced together, the projects up until this point have likely improved on the A-12's stealth more than they have its speed, and I'd imagine that the real breakthrough has been the creation of a viable true hypersonic propulsion system that can take the craft from the runway to Mach 7 without skipping a beat.

I have no real clue about the skyquakes, but methinks they might be from something different entirely...



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 11:48 PM
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a reply to: intelgurl

Welcome back, IG.

You are legendary around here.

I think you will find many of us think LockMart's hypersonic proposals are their way to transition developments into the grey or even potentially white from the black.

I'm in the camp that there has been test/dev systems running around, but not full production run birds.

Others differ.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 11:52 PM
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a reply to: anzha

If you can get a reliable aircraft, you can pull of a limited run of 5-6 aircraft, and manage to cover a big area and do a number of missions with them.



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 11:56 PM
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what an exciting and scary time to be alive, i wonder how long it will take to get mach 6 passenger aircraft, if ever since we dont even have mach 1 passenger aircraft now, seams humans are better at making things to kill eachother then help one another.

also welcome back



posted on Mar, 22 2016 @ 11:58 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

A very good source said the 90s bird, at least the predecessor to it, made a big hole in the desert. I wonder if you and sam could go find it.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 12:04 AM
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a reply to: theboarman

The big problem with supersonic aircraft is the fact that they're banned from going supersonic over land, because of the potential for damage on the ground. Once they solve that problem, you'll see Mach 2 business jets and commercial aircraft. You'll be lucky to see a Mach 6 commercial aircraft, because they're expensive. I was discussing it with someone once, and the difference between Mach 6.5 and Mach 7 was the difference between feasible, cost wise, and completely unaffordable.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 12:12 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Any links online? or purely first hand?



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 12:17 AM
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a reply to: Bfirez

Personal source. He's been a VERY solid one. He rarely feeds me something, but when he does it's a 10/10.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 12:19 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Theres also the nasty tendancy that Mach 6 airliners have of attracting bombs in their landing gear, not to mention the whole "random ditch landings" thing...



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 12:27 AM
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a reply to: anzha

I spoke with a couple gents a couple years ago who had worked for Lockheed, Boeing, and several others... One I talked to probably every few days on the subject. He was adamant that the so called Aurora existed as he would all but admit having dealt with it at some point. Would never answer any questions on the propulsion no matter how hard I tried. The other worked on the Saturn rockets, and then the C-5's. That gentleman had some excellent plaques and models in his study given to him when he retired. Sadly he passed recently, I wish I had taken pictures of them when I had the chance



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 12:40 AM
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a reply to: Bfirez

Chuck Clark an old Area 51 'investigator' once said he had a video of Aurora on the runway and would release it once the project was declassified.

There probably is a delta winged fast mover but I doubt it would be called Aurora and the original money for that project was for the B2.

My money would be on it being a lockmart aircraft when it all comes out in the open.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 01:15 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: theboarman

The big problem with supersonic aircraft is the fact that they're banned from going supersonic over land, because of the potential for damage on the ground.


Just as a point of reference there are military supersonic corridors in various areas of the continental US. one of them is from Marietta, GA to the Great Smokey Mountains NP, then south the Huntsville, AL. There are others out west like in Nevada and Cali.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 02:13 AM
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a reply to: intelgurl

They get to go boom in AK over plenty of land also. They have some quite large moas. And many times they break the barrier a bit too soon.
I guess this is bigger issue down in the regular world. I was watching what I thought were raptors last night, but I'm not sure because they sounded different then usual. Absolutely no sound until they were so far past me that it would be way too late. Pretty cool. It could have been the conditions causing this, but didn't seem like the regular sound I'm familiar with.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 02:24 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: intelgurl

At least two high flying, high speed platforms are flying. One was flying in the 90s, and a new one just recently joined the stable. Some of the things I have heard about it aren't far off from things that are being said now.


I'm curious as to whether anyone can contribute informed speculation as to the role of said high speed platforms and whether or not they are manned. My knowledge of aircraft is insignificant compared to many on this forum; I would assume such platforms would be most useful as surveillance platforms, although I am sure they could be useful in strike roles, too.

If one such platform was operating in the 90s, is it safe to assume that platform was (is?) manned? Again, my knowledge on this topic is limited, but could such a high-performance platform have been made unmanned in the 90s, and would the Air Force/NSA/whoever have taken that risk?



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 05:29 AM
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a reply to: intelgurl


I wonder when talk about super duper aircraft is going to get real and accept that a manned plane by today's standards are as outdated as props, secondary wings and pilots? How many systems must you plug into a manned plane to keep it and its pilot whole during a serious exchange? How much control does the pilot actually have over what he can/should do? What natural sense does he have that cannot be bettered or entirely eliminated by a collection of black boxes? How does his being on the scene put him in a better position than a drone pilot in Utah that can risk the vehicle without a qualm if the mission is necessary?

Forget winged motion entirely. What can a jet fighter/bomber do that a well-endowed missile moving at your yet unobtainable super duper speed cannot do? Machine-guided rockets will always out-class a manned aircraft at a fraction of the cost of that aircraft and any nation smart enough to figure that out will be building super duper missiles to outfox the newest of manned aircraft.

The sense in the air coming from the major sources is that there is something new out there and they want to give hints about what they have but dare not tell too much at this time. As for what the lady at Lockheed has suggested, I must refer back to paraphrase the words of Ben Rich, former head of the Skunk Works. He said that we have the ability to reach the stars. And being more than a little aware of the devices called UFOs, I assume that the man knew exactly what he was talking about. (And yes, he did mention UFOs in his book "Skunk Works, written with Leo Janos.)



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 06:20 AM
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Pretty much all supersonic++ aircraft will be unmanned. SR-72 concept included.

Its just better that way, can really lay down the G's.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 07:12 AM
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a reply to: anzha

That I wouldn't mind. Any more info on a potential location would be helpful, walking around the desert for hours on end is hard work.



posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 07:25 AM
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a reply to: PhloydPhan

The initial push into the hypersonic realm will be manned to begin with. With someone on the platform to make instant situation decisions that might not be prudent to make via any communication lag while hypersonic. With that said everything seams to be built in both flavors though. A manned aircraft with an unmanned mode like the SR-72 and the B-21 and I think eventually the F-35.

As for roles, most likely ISR for now but you bet that they are looking at other capabilities as well.
edit on 23-3-2016 by Sammamishman because: (no reason given)




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