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Boeing, USAF show off supersonic bomb firing technology

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posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 09:36 PM

Boeing and the US Air Force today said they have tested new technology that for the first time will let military aircraft launch bombs from aircraft moving at supersonic speeds.

Something very interesting I just came across today! Looks like they just slid a JDAM down a rocket sled in a mock weapons bay and used 'microjets' to change the airflow coming across the bay opening. Looks like this could be helpful in keeping our planes safer. No slow-down to fire = less chance of interception, no?

Edit-Also interesting, the sled they used for the mock bomb-bay broke some records for fastest by 400 fps and heavier than any in the last 10 years!


[edit on 28-11-2007 by Rizzo]

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 09:50 PM
High Frequency Excitation Active Flow Control for Supersonic Weapon Release (HIFEX)

Thats a mouthfull indeed. Back in the 60's Lockheed proposed a bomber variant of the A-12 which would have launched nuclear bombs or kinetic energy penatrators at Mach 3 and 80+ feet. They also managed missile launches from that altitude and speed in thier F-12 variant

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 09:56 PM
any info on those tests they did?? I'd like to read up on that! What was their f-12 variant? The a-12 was a scrapped design proposal right?

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 10:00 PM
reply to post by Rizzo

I should have said YF-12. 3 were made and flight tested. the foreward chines were modified for an IRST system and to compensate ventral fins were added underneath the nacelles.

It fired the AIM-47 Falcon which was teh forefather of the AIM-54 Pheonix missile was carried in an internal bay

The last AIM-47 launched from a YF-12 flying at Mach 3.2 and an altitude of 74,400 feet (22,677 m) at a QB-47 target drone 500 feet (152 m) off the ground. The F-12 program, too, was cancelled by 1966. Hughes had built some 80 pre-production missiles, however, and the technology was used in the development of the AIM-54 Phoenix for the US Navy.

More details

[edit on 11/28/07 by FredT]

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 10:07 PM
No the A-12 was not canceled. That was the CIA forerunner to the SR-71. It was a single seat aircraft, but appeared to be exactly the same as the SR-71.

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 10:12 PM
umm I think we are getting a and yf designations mixed up?

yf-12 -> sr-71

a-12 avenger 2 -> a-6 replacement
and I figured that FredT was talking about this one ^

yes? no?

[edit on 28-11-2007 by Rizzo]

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 10:15 PM
The more advanced military technology becomes the less safe I feel.

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 10:26 PM
reply to post by Rizzo

No, actually you're the one that got mixed up. The A-12 was the forerunner to the SR-71.

The A-12 is the forerunner of the SR-71 and has nearly the same shape and dimensions as its replacement. Designed to replace the U-2, the A-12
flew higher and four times as fast to outrun enemy defenses and gather intelligence. The A-12 is primarily an over flight vehicle unlike the
SR-71. Its major advantages in capabilities to the SR-71 include its higher-resolution photography and its ability to go marginally faster
(Mach 3.3) than the SR-71. However, the SR-71 was chosen as successor to the A-12 due to its side-looking radar and cameras, allowing it to
gather important reconnaissance data without penetrating enemy airspace.

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 07:48 AM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Actually it's Lockheed who was messing up the US designations.
Lockheed A-12 project was nicknamed Archangel and it was the 12th version of the design Archangel-12 > A-12 and the name stuck maybe because it was the CIA who brought it.

Since A is the designation for Attack
It should of actually been R designation for Reconaissance

SR-71 which seems to make Antisubmarine?? and Reconaissance. You could say they the S was for spaceplane but in that case it should of come after the R as the spaceplane would be a type designation which come after the mission designations, anyway it doesn't fly high enough to count as a spaceplane

YF-12 is Y for prototype, F for fighter

So an A-12 project was cancelled.

A-12 avenger 2

[edit on 29-11-2007 by deckard83]

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by deckard83

Deckard I understand that you feel stongly that your right but the fact is that the SR-71 forebear was called the A-12 in at least 90% of anything it was involved with. SR in the 71's case is used together to mean Surveillance and Recon.

The A-12 triangle stealth replacement never got past the prototype stage with your reasoning it sould of been an X or Y-12. Your right that 99% of the time A stands for attack F stands for fighter and B for bomber and C for cargo but if the airforce wasnts to attack pilots to a black project and misguide people you end up with the F-117 or for that matter the A-12. Sure they may have adopted the A from Archangel when it was a CIA owned plane who was seperate from the USAF or at least they though so even though it was USAF pilots and crew that did the work.

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 01:44 PM
re: The SR-71 designation..


The USAF had planned to redesignate the A-12 aircraft as the B-71; the B-70 Valkyrie's successor. The B-71 would have a nuclear capability of three first-generation SRAMs (Short-Range Attack Missiles). The next designation was RS-71 (Reconnaissance-Strike) when the strike capability became an option. However, then-USAF Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay preferred the SR (Strategic Reconnaissance) designation and wanted the RS-71 to be named SR-71. Before the Blackbird was to be announced by President Johnson on 29 February 1964, LeMay lobbied to modify Johnson's speech to read SR-71 instead of RS-71. The media transcript given to the press at the time still had the earlier RS-71 designation in places, creating the myth that the president had misread the aircraft's designation.[3][4]

Seems reasonable to me

[edit on 29-11-2007 by Stoo]

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 02:11 PM
YIKES!! I didn't want this to be a fight over designations lol! Both are right okay?? Good, so back on topic, or just let this thread die since it doesn't really seems to interest anyone lol.

Anyone know how much this may help protect fighters/bombers? Is the time it takes to go sub-sonic, fire, and get supersonic to leave the enemy airspace that much more than just firing from supersonic??

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 02:57 PM
Interestingly, the F-12b was fully funded by Congress and a contract signed to produce 93 aircraft.

Macnamara, everyones favorite defense secretary, pulled the plug.

The F-12b would have carried four AIM-47's as opposed to the three carried by the YF-12 prototypes, and would have had a somewhat different nose, with IR sensors mounted at the forward end of each fuselage chine.

Too bad it wasn't produced, what an amazing aircraft.

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 04:45 PM
reply to post by Canada_EH

It didn't mean to say that the A-12 plane wasn't called A-12 as you are right it was. I also agree with you about the A-12 Avenger II which is why I said project, since they didn't get to building the production aircraft. I was just trying to make the point that A-12 designation has been used more than once. The US miltary has a system they just don't always stick to it
Edit: The linky didn't work

As for the supersonic bomb firing technology. I guess the increase in speed would give a longer stand off range for the JDAM.

[edit on 29-11-2007 by deckard83]

[edit on 29-11-2007 by deckard83]

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 05:18 PM

A-12: CIA developed a/c. 1 pilot. Developed by the Skunk Works. Was Black for decades. AKA Project Oxcart.

M-21: Modified A-12 designed to launch the D-21 (Project Tagboard)drone from FL80 and Mach 3, Several launches, last one resulted in crash of the M-21 and backseater killed

SR-71: Two seat version built for the USAF (Initally SAC) for post strike recce. Slightly slower than an A-12 (Mach 3.3 vs mach 3.35) This is the a/c most are familiar with.

YF-12: Experimental fighter version of the aircraft. Foreward chines modified for IRST and housed a huge radar. Ventral fins added below the nacelles for stability to compensate for shine modifications (One of many increadible aircraft that Robert macnamara killed off). Flew and launched the AIM-47 at mach 3, 80000 feet hitting a drone at 500 feet altitude

B-12: Bomber version of the aircraft. Design stage only


Okay this is where some are getting tripped up:

A-12 Avenger II: AKA the flying dorito. Flying wing stealth attack aircraft that was to be built for the USN. Canceled in development in 1991 by then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney due to massive cost overruns and ? accounting projects by the prime contractor.

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 05:33 PM
reply to post by xmotex

xmotex, what would the ir sensors do??

and to anyone, how did the actually aircraft (a-12, yf-12, sr-71, and m-21) differ?? Like why the sr-71 is slower than an a-12?

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 05:46 PM
The SR-71 has an additional cockpit for the RSO, so it's heavier than the A-12, thus making it a little bit slower. The M-21 carried the drone on her back, so it was even slower, due to the extra drag and weight of the D-21.

posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 05:18 PM
A picture of the M-21 / D-21 combo in flight. to make things a bit more confusing the M-21 was a modified A-12 that seated 2 but was NOT an SR-71.

posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 05:21 PM
The YF-12 differed from the A-12 in that the foreward chine was notched as seen in the photo below to accomadate the IRST sensors (ventral fins were added under the engine nacelles for additional stability

the AIM-47

[edit on 12/5/07 by FredT]

posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 05:45 PM
I wasn't going to add to the continued derailment of this thread, but here are a few Blackbird tidbits.

Blackbirds variants
A-12 12 (Single-seat, reconnaissance)
A-12T 1 (Trainer, also called TA-12)
M-21 2 (Mothership)
YF-12A 3 (Interceptor)
SR-71A 29 (Dual-seat, reconnaissance)
SR-71B 2 (Trainer)
SR-71C 1 (Trainer)
D-21 20 (Drone, 16 later converted to D-21B)
D-21B 34 (18 plus 16 converted from original D-21)

50 manned aircraft and 38 drones total

One A-12 was "upgraded to SR-71 standards" and known internally to Lockheed as an A-12B.

The SR-71C was a trainer built from the front half of a static test SR-71 fuselage (Article 2000), the aft section of the first YF-12A (Article 1001/60-6934), and a new instructor’s cockpit. It replaced the second SR-71B that crashed on 11 January 1968.

The "YF-12C" was the second SR-71A built (61-7951), as flown by NASA from July 1971 through September 1978. The bogus designation was used to hide the fact that NASA was operating the SR-71. It was given a tail number from a (then secret) A-12. The number, 06937, fell into the same sequence as NASA’s YF-12A aircraft (06935 and 06936).

The maximum design cruise speed of all models was Mach 3.2. The speed was limited by structural temperature restrictions (compressor inlet temperature had to remain below 427 degrees C).

Fastest known flights:
YF-12A (60-6936) – Mach 3.14 (2,070 mph), USAF, official, 1 May 1965
SR-71B (61-7956) – Mach 3.27 (2,158 mph), NASA, unofficial, 14 December 1995
A-12 (60-6928) – Mach 3.29 (2,171 mph), CIA, unofficial, 8 May 1965
SR-71A (61-7958) – Mach 3.32 (2,193 mph), USAF, official, 28 July 1976

The Blackbirds were designed to fly as high as 90,000 feet, but typically operated between 70,000 and 85,000 feet (altitudes at which they could carry a useful sensor payload and fuel load). The A-12 could fly higher than the SR-71 because it weighed about 2,000 pounds less.

Highest known flights:
YF-12A (60-6936) – 80,257 feet, USAF, official, 1 May 1965
SR-71B (61-7956) – 84,700 feet, NASA, unofficial, 18 October 1994
SR-71A (61-7962) – 85,068 feet, USAF, official, 28 July 1976
SR-71A (61-7953) – 89,650 feet, USAF, unofficial, 1968
A-12 (60-6932) – 90,000 feet, CIA, unofficial, 14 August 1965

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