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Air Force Plans Flight Tests Of Falcon Hypersonic Vehicle

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posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 09:39 AM
Finally the USAF/ DARPA Falcon project is back in the news. A mach 19 (!) flight test is planned for September 2007.

A joint U.S. Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project is moving speedily along—intended to fly to Mach 20, plus some.

The Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle program is exploring high-speed air vehicles designed for rapid, around-the-world reach. Project goals are to develop hypersonic technology for a glided or powered system, as well as advance small, low cost, and responsive launch vehicles.

A Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle-1 (HTV-1) is now on the books for a less than one-hour flight in September 2007. Attaining Mach 19 (19 times the speed of sound), the glided air vehicle will briefly exit the Earth’s atmosphere and reenter flying between 19 and 28 miles above the Earth’s surface. This inaugural voyage of HTV-1 would end in the Pacific Ocean.

Almost two years ago I wrote an article about the Falcon program for ATS: The USAF / DARPA FALCON Program, but I see the images are missing.

I have a similar article on my website. The articles are probably a bit dated, though. I notice they're talking about the HTV-1 (Hypersonic Test Vehicle 1) so I guess they made some changes to the program.

The origional plan was to have weapon system demonstrations from the third quarter of 2007 until 2009.

posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 10:02 AM
Mach 19...??? how is that possible... What kind of egnines does it use...?? In your article you had a picture of the Aurora... So pulse engines... But the Aurora is only told to go 6.4 mach... 6.5-19 is a big leap don't you think...

[edit on 27-1-2006 by Figher Master FIN]

posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 10:09 AM
I dont know if exiting and skipping the earth's atmosphere and into space and then entering back in the atmosphere counts as Mach 19 to 20. Unless I'm wrong on that.

posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 10:15 AM
Well in the article I just added a list of possible propulsion techniques. The Falcon program uses a scramjet engine, it's quite similair to the X-43:

- X-43a hypersonic research vehicle reaches Mach 7
- NASA's X-43A Scramjet Breaks Speed Record (Mach 9.8)

There were plans to build more advanced X-43 versions, all the way up to an X-43D version. The X-43D was supposed to fly at speeds of Mach 10 to Mach 15, but those plans never came off the ground.

[edit on 1-27-2006 by Zion Mainframe]

posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 10:20 AM

Originally posted by deltaboy
I dont know if exiting and skipping the earth's atmosphere and into space and then entering back in the atmosphere counts as Mach 19 to 20. Unless I'm wrong on that.

Or was it even 22...??
well yes... But we are talking about a plane that flies in our atmosphere. There is no fricition or gravity in space... But I have a feeling that I'am wrong... Well see what intelgurl and Waynos have to say...

posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 11:23 AM
Why bring me into it?

If mach one is the speed of sound, and sound cannot travel in a vacuum, then surely you can't travel at mach anything in space? Hmmm, one to think about.

If the vehicle reaches a speed of mach 19+ that is amazing but it would have to do it in the atmosphere as speed is meaningless (in terms of measurable achievement) in outer space i am thinking here of the phenomenal speeds achieved by the Voyager space probe, if a comparison is to be made there then this vehicle doing mach 19 in space is akin to 'floating' as we percieve the Voyager to be. In, or even on top of, the atmosphere however is a different matter.

Just thinking aloud here as I hadn't considered the question until it came up on this thread.

posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 11:27 AM
Here is the scaled down version in Mach 10-14 wind-tunnel testing (not testing in this picture).


posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 11:53 AM
Obviously they have this technology that we dont know about yet, because for them to jump from the Mach 9.8 record straight to a mach 19 + test indicates previous accomplishments not released to the public.

Remeber, this falcon vehilce will be a real vehicle, from what I understand, where as the x-43 was only able to carry limited fuel for a very short burst, like 20 seconds max.

So something else is going on, some black research


posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 01:32 PM
Why didn't I think of that Waynos...
And as navygoy said 10 mach is propably much more realistic. But still a too big jump from 6.5 in my opinion...

And Waynos, why bring you into this... I still havne't found a question that you couldn't come up an answear to... But I won't give up... I'am still searching...

posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 03:12 PM
You don't have to be in the atmosphere to have a Mach Number. It is just an easier way of telling someone speed in relation to the speed of sound which most likely is taken at sea level at a certain temperature. So obviously when they say the space shuttle is going at mach 25, we all know there is no atmosphere in space, its just easier to relate.

Most people can only comprehend and visualize small numbers anyway, so for someone to say 18,000 mph or mach 25, people get the impression that mach 25 is much faster because we cant really visualize 18,000 mph, but for some weird reason, we are able to comprehend mach 25 better.

P.S. Waynos, Saw a program on tv the other night called Speed, they claimed the sr-71 is between 3 and 4 thousand mph.


posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 01:51 AM
Exactly. The shuttle is a good reference. All re-entry manuevers are at such speeds.
Same with ICBMs!

posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 02:19 AM
The Sr-71 was able to go 3529.56 km/h. Wich ecuals about Mach 3. The record was made in Beales air-force base, California (28.7.1976) the plane was flown by Captain Eldon W. Joerz and major George T. Morgan.

posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 02:36 AM
Don't believe everything they tell you FIN. It was a bit faster than they're still admitting.

posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 01:28 PM
Here is the link to the USAF's website and their article about it, for all of the non-believers of unmanned hypersonic bombers in the near future.

posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 01:40 PM
Bad news for the bad guys.

posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 09:41 AM
Man Mach 22
thats going to be amazing for a air breathing engine. Might not be much longer till we can take off from a runway like a plane and make it into orbit with those speeds. Though I would imagine you would need some kind of hybrid Scramjet/rocket to work in the atmosphere and space.

Very cool stuff DARPA most be one of the most amazing places on the whole planet to work at they do so much cool stuff.

posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 11:41 AM

Originally posted by NWguy83
Here is the link to the USAF's website and their article about it, for all of the non-believers of unmanned hypersonic bombers in the near future.

Near future??

Ha, 2020 at best my friend!

Long, long way from a unmanned prototype test bed to a fully armed, operational manned machine.

posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 11:43 AM
As far as I know, a SCRAMjet is supposed to run out of puff at around Mach 18-20, above which a pure rocket is more efficient so its possible the falcon is designed to test out this, and of course gather much more information on other things too.

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