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BLACKSTAR: an operational USAF TSTO spaceplane?

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posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 07:31 PM
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Can anybody say, "Brilliant Buzzard"?






posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by MadGreebo
Intelgurl can I have your informed opinion on some thing?

Its just that an article from aviation week was posted about 'flying triangles' and their mach 5-7 performance, and now, one issue later we have got this mega article about Senior Sister program / Black star mother ship and its supposed dimensions and uses.

You say rumsfield would never reveal anything, so do you think insiders are spreading the word because of disilusionment within the Black avitaion world? and in doing so trying to force some ones hand?

Conjecture I know, but I would like oppinions : )


[edit on 6-3-2006 by MadGreebo]


The flying triangles article is not a revelation of a "black project". My take on the SonicBlue triangle is that Rolls Royce is positioning themsleves to add value to their F136 engine which is on Donald Rumsfeld's chopping block. They are doing this by trying to demonstrate that they are a forward thinking advanced technology company and not a stodgy old dinosaur with stale ideas. Embracing SonicBlues efforts not only positions Rolls as a forward thinker but also enables them to find a profitable outlet for technology they have already invested in.

As for insiders spreading the word because of disillusionment with the "Black Aviation" world; I don't think that comes into play at all. Leaks of this nature are either political or financially motivated.
I should probably retract my statement that Rumsfeld would never give up any secrets - Instead it should be said that Rumsfeld would not give up any secrets without some kind of international political motivation, such as sending a message to a potential adversary, etc.

By the same token Rumsfeld may not have been in the loop at all in these leaks, I find great insight in what Pyros said in his post.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 10:27 AM
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The C-5's were chopped to NASA in the mid-to-late 1990s, and although they were assigned NASA tail codes (503 and 504), they were never repainted nor were they removed from AFRES operation. Essentially, NASA and mil-space missions were their only purpose, but NASA didn't want the hassle of maintaining and crewing a couple of low-tempo assets like the C-5.

There are (at least) a couple of clandestine C-5s, that either carry very small national markings, or file erroneous flight plans. You'd be shocked at how easy it is to hide a huge plane like the C-5, even in plain sight. At least one (some reports say two) C-5 has undergone SOLL II Special Ops modifications, but no pictures of that configuration have been published.

As for the XB-70 contributions, ironically, Sunday night I was reading Dennis Jenkin's XB-70 book and he makes quite a bit of the fact that although some structures were completed for AV-3, the only photo he could find was of the fore/aft fuselage mating hump and what little documentation of the material disposition he could find, dealt mostly with the transfer of the canard structure to NASA for SST heating tests. Now, I doubt that anything flying today, or even in the last 10 years used the actual XB-70 materials, but NASA and the Air Force did make quite a few studies of mating the XB-70 with the X-15C, X-24C and the FDL-5 shape that many associate with some of the fastmover testing at Groom.

Mock it all you'd like, but Aviation Leak and Space Mythology has had a history of getting the gist of classified and special access programs, even if the details differ. (Have Blue, Senior Trend, Lacrosse, Crystal, Tacit Blue, Bird of Prey... etc)



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 11:44 AM
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Allow me to quote from the AW&ST article:

"The manned orbiter's primary military advantage would be surprise overflight. There would be no forewarning of its presence, prior to the first orbit, allowing ground targets to be imaged before they could be hidden. In contrast, satellite orbits are predictable enough that activities having intelligence value can be scheduled to avoid overflights".

"Exactly what missions the Blackstar system may have been designed for and built to accomplish are as yet unconfirmed, but U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) officers and contractors have been toying with similar spaceplane-operational concepts for years. Besides reconnaissance, they call for inserting small satellites into orbit, and either retrieving or servicing other spacecraft. Conceivably, such a vehicle could serve as an anti-satellite or space-to-ground weapons-delivery platform, as well".

"The spaceplane's small cargo or "Q-bay" also could be configured to deliver specialized microsatellites to low Earth orbit or, perhaps, be fitted with no-warhead hypervelocity weapons--what military visionaries have called "rods from god." Launched from the fringes of space, these high-Mach weapons could destroy deeply buried bunkers and weapons facilities".

Can any beside me think of a weapons facility, deep behind some international border, that we might want to be interested in taking out in the near future? Or more relavantly, a country that possesses such a facility that we might want to tacitly threaten by releasing this kind of information? Maybe politics is playing a bigger role in this then we might want to believe?



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Pyros
Can any beside me think of a weapons facility, deep behind some international border, that we might want to be interested in taking out in the near future? Or more relavantly, a country that possesses such a facility that we might want to tacitly threaten by releasing this kind of information? Maybe politics is playing a bigger role in this then we might want to believe?

You have to keep in mind that this program, like the F-22 Raptor, was started during the cold war, with a country like Russia to fighter against. Now that Russia is an ally, a program like this becomes obsolete (like the F-22 Raptor). It could, however, be used against North Korea, they have many facilities hidden underground. But other weapon systems, like the B-52 could do the job as well.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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Wow Zion for some one with such an ace web site, you sure have missed the point of the hypersonic 'God Rods'.

A B-52 has no weapon in its inventry that can smash into Irans deep buried shelters and facilities. No bomb however big has the penetrative power to dig that deep. Bombs rely of a small amount of kinetic energy and a huge amount on their explosive powers to burrow into the ground.
'God Rods' or kinetic penetrators are vastly superior, and launch at hypersonic speeds a tungsten penetrator will burrow much much deeper than any 'BUFF' bomb could ever do. The energy dissipated into a target from a hypersonic weapon would be hundreds of times more devastating for a target than a bomb of any size bar nukes. Even nuclear bombs would have to have multiple hits to 'dig' a target out from underground though.

I just love that you missed the Iran angle as well...

Oh by the way, I love your web site its fantastic!



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by Pyros
Can any beside me think of a weapons facility, deep behind some international border, that we might want to be interested in taking out in the near future? Or more relavantly, a country that possesses such a facility that we might want to tacitly threaten by releasing this kind of information? Maybe politics is playing a bigger role in this then we might want to believe?


That's assuming that we know where all of they-who-shall-not-be-named keep their WMD storage and production facilities. We don't. At least not all of them, not without some doubt. The spectacular success of the Osirak raid had one supremely negative effect - emerging nuclear threats learned not to keep all their eggs in one basket.



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 07:06 PM
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There is a great more detail supporting AWST's assertion IF and that is a big IF you subscribe to the magazine you will note two more articles on the subject

Of particular interest to me is the article that draws parallels between the SR-3 and the XB-70.

One interesting point is that alot of extrusions etc for the 3rd XB-70 were produced but have never been accounted for. This includes 24000 sq feet of honeycomb material, 157000 sq feet of sheet met, and 26000 feet of metal extrusions. The vehicles could have easily been built from this material

Also of note: 15 of the GE YJ-93-3 engines have also gone unaccounted for as well.

These bits and pieces put together makes this whole thing much much more plausable than the Mach 6 Aurora EVER would. But would the prevelant Aurora mafia accept this?

One final note as noted by Intelgurl and others. This material was not published in the Star or some low budget geocities web page, but rather by the preeminent Aviation magazine with a good track record of research into these projects.


[edit on 3/7/06 by FredT]

[edit on 3/7/06 by FredT]



posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 09:43 PM
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I've had a feeling for awhile now that the X-33 style of engine did get some use...beyond the failed venture star & ground tests.

Wonder if its more efficient then the normal rocket engine.(?)




posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 09:47 PM
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It seemed far fetched that they would cancel the program after a failure of a composite fuel tank. The VentureStar may have simply been the 'White" face to the black project and its funds may have been shunted to Blackstar as part of the cover.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 07:32 AM
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Heres your "typical" XB-70

www.allstar.fiu.edu...


And heres NASA's TU-144, "borrowed" from the Russians for high altitude SST flight testing

www.dfrc.nasa.gov...

Now compare them to the "Blackstar" picture.

NASA was throwing a 215ft long supersonic airliner around the sky officially between 1996-98. The resemblance between the TU-144 and the descriptions of "Blackstar" are remarkably similar, don't you think?

Of course, this may not account for all of the sightings, but I bet it accounts for a fair percentage of them



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by neformore

NASA was throwing a 215ft long supersonic airliner around the sky officially between 1996-98. The resemblance between the TU-144 and the descriptions of "Blackstar" are remarkably similar, don't you think?

Of course, this may not account for all of the sightings, but I bet it accounts for a fair percentage of them


Interesting theory, but...


From www.dfrc.nasa.gov...


All flights were conducted in Russia from Tupolev's facility at the Zhukovsky Air Development Center near Moscow.


Aside from that, the Tu-144 was much more likely to be mistaken for a Concorde than an XB-70, considering that it has a single vertical stabilizer and a circular fuselage. Oh, and it's never flown over the U.S.

[edit on 8-3-2006 by mustang_dvs]



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 12:57 PM
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An aerospike engine is more efficient across the entire atmospheric pressure gradiant, abet slightly less efficient at each individual instance when compared to traditional bell nozzles. An engine like this thus makes sense for single stage to orbit vehicles, in which it must operate at both 1 atm and the near vacuum of space. Very oddly, the Blackstar system is a two stage to orbit system, with staging occuring at 80,000 some feet! Seperation at this altitude would negate much of the advantage of an aerospike engine. I suspect it was employed to conform better to the aerodynamics of the orbiter.




Originally posted by Murcielago
I've had a feeling for awhile now that the X-33 style of engine did get some use...beyond the failed venture star & ground tests.

Wonder if its more efficient then the normal rocket engine.(?)




posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:09 PM
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VentureStar failed because of program wide mismanagement, repeated failures, delays, fallbacks (the composite tank being the last staw) and almost 1 billion USD in cost overruns. Fundamentally, the project was wwaaayyyy too ambitious.






Originally posted by FredT
It seemed far fetched that they would cancel the program after a failure of a composite fuel tank. The VentureStar may have simply been the 'White" face to the black project and its funds may have been shunted to Blackstar as part of the cover.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:45 PM
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Bill Scott's Blackstar article is junk journalism.

It is no more than a collection of unverifiable anecdotes and rumors. There is no documentation to back it up. Despite Scott's claim that "considerable evidence supports the existence of" the Blackstar system, he includes no such evidence in his article. Although he admits that "iron-clad confirmation that meets AW&ST standards has remained elusive," he goes on to assert that a number of details about the project are hard facts.

He describes a two-stage to orbit (TSTO) system and asserts that "the spaceplane can reach low earth orbit," but he obviously has no real understanding of orbital mechanics. Such a system as the alleged Blackstar, as described, would be unable to achieve orbit. It would have been nice to have had at least one rocket scientist review the article prior to publication.

The entire section on "adaptive optics with an integral sodium-ion-sensing laser"is not scientifically accurate. Such a system would be useful for ground-based telescopes, not the other way around.

Scott writes that "many sightings of both an XB-70-like carrier and a spaceplane have been reported." Without photographic proof, these are just UFO reports. We have no meaningful way of knowing what, if anything, the alleged witnesses saw. Could you really keep "observed spaceplane landings" at Hurburt, Kadena, and Holloman a secret?

Scott reports that "James Petty, president of JP Rocket Engine Co., saw a small, highly swept-winged vehicle nestled under the belly of an XB-70-like aircraft" flying slowly over Salt lake City in the middle of the afternoon. Why would a Top Secret airplane fly over a major metropolitan area in the middle of the day? Why were there no other reprorted sightings? On 31 March 2003, AW&ST reported that JP Rocket Engines (a company so small it doesn't even have a web site) launched an Aerotech solid rocket with an aerospike nozzle of their own design. So, the only reported witness to a TSTO spaceplane believed to use aerospike engines is the president of a tiny company that has designed an aerospike engine. Odd coincidence?

The Blackstar system is allegedly so secret that "top military sspace commanders apparently have never been 'briefed-in' -- never told of the Blackstar's existence -- even though tese are the 'warfighters' who might need to emply a spaceplane in combat." So, what good is it?

Scott claims that an unnamed Pentagon official suggested that Blackstar was owned and operated by "a team of aerospace contractors" to provide government leaders with plausible deniablity. They don't really need deniability if the system hasn't been surfaced. They can simply repsond to questions with a "no comment." Having a contractor-owned system certainly wouldn't give plausible deniablity in the event that the vehicle's missions were exposed. If the missions of Blackstar include reconnaissance, satellite deploymment, satellite retrieval or servicing, anti-satellite or space-to-ground weapons delivery, then government officials could hardly claim that a team of civilian contractors took such action on their own initiative.

Scott's suggestion that Blackstar was developed to provide assured access to space in the wake of the Challenger and expendable vehicle failures of 1986/1987 flies in the face of logic. Why cobble together an unproven and likely hazardous vehicle configuration from 1960s-era technology (XB-70 and X-20 DynaSoar) rather than simply fix the relatively minor (by comparison) problems with with the existing space launch fleet?

The idea that construction of Blackstar was facilitated through the use of "tons of material" leftover from the proposed (but never assembled) third XB-70 should be viewed with skepticism. Most (or all) of that material was sold as scrap years ago. I know at least one entrepreneur who rescued a few items (structural components) before they reached the smelter, and sold them to collectors.

Yes, there have been proposals for TSTO vehicles and air-launch options since the 1950s. There have been plans for a lot of stuff that never made beyond the drawing or wind-tunnel stage. Ideas don't equal hardware.

There are so many obvious flaws in the AW&ST article that one is compelled to wonder if it was meant for the April 1 issue. Did the editors simply leave all the B.S. in so that anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together would know it was crapola? Or, is it possible that AW&ST has lowered its standards to the level of Popular Mechanics?



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
There is a great more detail supporting AWST's assertion IF and that is a big IF you subscribe to the magazine you will note two more articles on the subject

And to this end I thought it would be helpful to include some of the points from the AW&ST subscription only articles regarding the "Black whatever it is"...

USAF Eyewitness Accounts:

in 1994 an F-15 crew chief spotted a manned XOV at Holloman AFB, NM. He told the pilot who from the cockpit and using a pair of binoculars was able to see the activities surrounding this spaceplane. YThe pilot sketched a drawing of the craft along with a detailed description:
He said it was approx 90-100 ft in length, a highly swept blended wing lifting body design with the outer portions of the wings drooped or curved downward.
The F-15 pilot also noted the unusual nose of the craft which is flattened and "spade-like". Additionally the rear of the craft appeared to have had 4 rectangular exhaust ports that were described as resembling something akin to a linear aerospike engine.

[edit on 3-8-2006 by intelgurl]



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 03:22 PM
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It should be noted that the F-15 pilot/crew chief story is unconfirmed. Does anyone know if Bill Scott ever talked directly with these alleged witnesses, or is it a tale passed around by True Believers?

There are a lot of "Aurora" stories from suspect sources. Some of the best early ones, including a supposed rear-view sketch of the plane, originated with Bob Lazar (discredited spinner of reverse-engineered flying saucer stories).



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 03:58 PM
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...and THAT was 1964 ! (Image Courtesy NASA)


Nice to see this out in the open. As has been pointed out, maybe someone will catch a clue, start building irrigation projects and stop wasting money on acquiring genocide weapons that can neither be hidden nor defended.

I used to hang out with Scotty Crossfield. The X-15 carried AF I.D. for a reason, and it was capable of far more than the average Joe would have ever understood from those cheesy NASA videos. The truth is out there.

A tantalizing and wildly unspeculative glimpse of BOOBS (Black Orbital Observation and Bombardment Systems) can be had by clicking here.

[edit on 8-3-2006 by Chakotay]



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 05:00 PM
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Chakotay's post should have been titled "The Shape of Things That Were." The X-15A-2 pictured is in the configuration used for its maximum speed flight. The airplane attained a velocity of Mach 6,630 feet-per-second (Mach 6.7). Aerodynamic heating around the dummy scramjet, hung on the lower ventral fin, burned large holes in the nickel-steel alloy skin of the vehicle. This could have resulted in a fatal mishap if some of the hydraulic lines had burned through. Damage to the aircraft was so severe that the airplane was retired.

The X-15 was capable of exactly what the NASA videos say: short high-speed runs to Mach 6+ and ballistic trajectories to altitudes exceeding 300,000 feet. The highest flight reached 354,200 feet.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by Shadowhawk
He describes a two-stage to orbit (TSTO) system and asserts that "the spaceplane can reach low earth orbit," but he obviously has no real understanding of orbital mechanics. Such a system as the alleged Blackstar, as described, would be unable to achieve orbit.

of course it could reach orbit...whats stopping it?

It got released at just over 100,000ft (not 80,000), and was allready going mach 3. Spaceship One got released subsonically at like 40,000 ft, and it went into sub-orbit.



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