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DARPA cancels Blackswift

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posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 02:50 PM
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www.flightglobal.com...


Funding cuts by lawmakers have doomed a hypersonic project named Blackswift that was to develop a long-awaited successor to the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

The fiscal 2009 defence budget approved last month slashes requested spending for the Mach 6-capable Blackswift Test Bed project from $120 million to $10 million.


now either this is going black or is really being killed off.




posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
now either this is going black or is really being killed off.


I was going to say, how do we know for sure it's being killed off? Wink wink winkity wink.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:09 PM
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I hope this project is going black, because it will be a great mistake to really cancel hypersonic plane, because a day an another nation can produce this kind of plane...



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:14 PM
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I would say its 'bye bye Blackswift' because the USA, like everyone else, is in financial turmoil and all the money being given to the banks has got to come from somewhere.

There is a report in this weeks Flight about how US defence procurement is falling apart and how aircraft like the SR-71 and EF-111 were retired without being replaced. But when you come on here that situation is given no credence at all, it just cannot be accepted that this has happened and people convince themselves that they have been replaced by some super secret black project instead. Based on what? A deep need that the US must be doing this, because otherwise the illusion of infallibilty is shattered?

Sometimes you just have to give reality a chance.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:18 PM
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It perhaps is the case Waynos, or even the drain on the seemingly limitless Pentagon budget by the Iraq war may also be the cause.

However, if the project is indeed going Black, they no doubt have financing already wrapped up. As far as procurment goes, the EF-111 etc have been victems of the bolloxed up process as much as real financial issues go.

It could also be some insurmountable technology problem as well.

[edit on 10/13/08 by FredT]



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:26 PM
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Yes fred, quite so regarding the procurement fiasco's (I thought us Brits had a monopoly on that sort of thing).

Of course it is entirely possible that it has gone black, but I would be 95% inclined to believe that the report is correct and the project has died, or at least gone into deep freeze until better times come along.

With something along these lines, I would have thought that if secrecy was important it would be black from the very beginning, like the F-117 and Lockheed A-11, rather than turning black later on after you have told everyone what you are doing, no?



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:32 PM
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What I find interesting is that this isn't the first report of it being cut, but there's a very large black budget line item in Lockheed's budget. I'm willing to bet that they cut it somehow, either fewer numbers or they've changed the requirements for it, but it's still there as a black project. Waynos, they might have started white for various budget reasons, then gone black.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
With something along these lines, I would have thought that if secrecy was important it would be black from the very beginning, like the F-117 and Lockheed A-11, rather than turning black later on after you have told everyone what you are doing, no?


If you look back at the F-117 it initally was a open project. AKA Harvey if I recall correctly and once a few of the compeditors proved it worked it went black at that point.

It is also possible that recent developments that added more F-22's tot he buy by congress may have had to come from some budget and perhaps this is it ?????



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Its possible, also could be for a future bomber ?????



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:43 PM
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I don't remember the F-117 being open at all until the 'dodgy perspective' photo came out about 1987, by which time production was already (as good as?) over.

I don't suppose the technology from Blackswift will be thrown away or wasted, that would be naive, I just think that the military is going to have to wait longer for it.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
I don't remember the F-117 being open at all until the 'dodgy perspective' photo came out about 1987, by which time production was already (as good as?) over.


The inital program was not.



In 1974, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiated a program known as PROJECT HARVEY, after a well-known comedy about an invisible giant rabbit, that requested designs of an "experimental survivable testbed (XST)" aircraft with a low RCS.

Lockheed was not among the companies contacted by DARPA with this request, but in 1975 Ben Rich, an engineer who had worked on the secret Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, got wind of the project and lobbied the government successfully to have Lockheed included.

Rich had the services of two Lockheed employees, mathematician Bill Schroeder and computer scientist Denys Overholser, to work on the XST program. Schroeder realized that it would be much easier to compute RCS if the shape of an aircraft could be reduced to a set of flat surfaces, or "facets". Schroeder approached Overholser with the idea, and within five weeks Overholser had written a computer program named "Echo I" that could determine the RCS of a "faceted" aircraft. Armed with Echo I, Schroeder came up with an initial XST design that he called the "Hopeless Diamond", and handed Ben Rich a sketch of it in May 1975.
www.faqs.org...


and



* Interestingly, up to this time PROJECT HARVEY was not a secret program, and in fact had been mentioned in the aerospace press. When the Carter Administration took office in early 1977, Bill Perry, an influential defense undersecretary for research and engineering and later defense secretary in the Clinton Administration, learned of how dramatic the results of the model tests had been.

Perry immediately saw to it that program became secret. Responsibility was transferred from the mostly-civilian DARPA to the USAF Special Projects Office, and funding was increased. Orders went out stating that the word "stealth" was not be used in unclassified documents, and the program was assigned a meaningless two-word codename: HAVE BLUE.
www.faqs.org...



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:50 PM
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Thank you
Not the F-117 then, but rather the research that led to it. Yes, I can see a possible parallel with Blackswift there.


Still don't think its the case this time though



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:52 PM
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What is the real problems with hypersonic projects all are a day cancel, X-33,X-30, and now Blackswift, i can't understand why after decade of research we can't build a plane like this. Look the work of Virgin galactic with little budget. Subsonic is not the futur of aerospace. How a subsonic bomber can survive in a fight with futur 5th generations fighter?



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:56 PM
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It was black before about one month ago and it is black again. Just something to keep our heads spinning.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by Anonymous ATS
 


Bombers aren't built to survive dogfights. They are built to be extremely hard to detect.

Doesn't matter anyhow, the F-35 has plenty of bomber capability, it is hypersonic and it is stealth.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by Jay-in-AR
 


Uhm, what? The F-35 is a TACTICAL bomber, which means that it carries a tiny bomb load. One of the loadouts is going to be 2 x 2000lb bombs. Wow. As a bomb truck the F-35 will be somewhere between the F/A-18 and the F-111. That's hardly a huge loadout. The F-35B can only carry two 1,000lb class weapons internally. If you go external you lose stealth, and even with external weapons, you're not going to get a huge loadout.

As for being hypersonic, uh no. You DO know what hypersonic is right? The ONLY hypersonic aircraft currently being flown are UAVs that are used for testing, and they require a rocket assist to get fast enough to engage the engines used to go hypersonic.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:18 PM
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I Think there is something in black because what are the programms after the F-22 and the F-35 they are together now in productions, I hope this is a Hypersonic plane like Blackswift.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:33 PM
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Yes, I understand the term hypersonic. I understand that hypersonic speed is not defined. Therefore, I lump it in under the supersonic category.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Yes, the 35 carries a "tiny" load, as you put it. But apparently we have enough of them to sell them to foreign nations now. Plus, they're stealth. Multiple, nearly undetected sorties putting smart payloads on any target, anywhere on the planet.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 05:39 PM
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The only difference between the known mach 3.5 speeds and the rumoured mach 5 speeds are just how quickly can you outrun any missle. After mach 3.5, it is moot. Pretty soon, you are talking about unmanned vehicles.




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