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Originally posted by makeitso
Check my previous post for links to underbelly shots.
Thats the best we have so far.
an extremely reliable source who told me that the huge new hangar at Groom Lake is for a Mach 6 hypersonic UCAV
Reports of plans for a high-performance piloted replacement for the SR-71 date back more than a decade. In 1979 it was reported that a
"... Mach 4, 200,000-ft.-altitude aircraft that could be a follow-on to the Lockheed SR-71 strategic reconnaissance vehicle in the 1990s has been defined by the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Division and Lockheed."
As previously noted, reports of the existence of a successor to the SR-71 surfaced repeatedly during the debate over termination of the SR-71. Subsequent observations of mysterious aerial phenomena have been connected with the 1988 reports that Aurora was a Mach 6 stealthy reconnaissance aircraft that was being developed to replace the SR-71.
Originally posted by CarlosG
What is the point of a vehicle like this? Why not just deliver a payload by ICBM?
And if it is for taking reconnaissance photos then why not use slower (perhaps still supersonic) cheaper aeroplanes and satelites?
I am an Engineer and should find this sort of vehicle really interesting, but I keep asking myself why bother? Why make what is in affect a really intelligent and expensive missile for delivering a payload and then returning to base when an ICBM is a brilliant design for doing that task?
Personally, I think the only real point of such a project is dick waving by the military bigwigs. Spending the money on developing a new generation of ICBM would have made so much more fiscal sense.
Originally posted by mikesingh
Here's some gen..
SR-71 successor? Or Aurora? Or are both the same?
Image courtesy: FAS IRP
Originally posted by gfad
Can we stay on topic? We're talking about black aircraft not fantasy planes from games etc.