I'm interested what the thing actually looks like though. I mean this in the news, but we haven't been aloud to see any photos of it yet?
Also, hypersonic aircraft have probably already been developed and in use for military testing for decades. There is alot of video and photographic
evidence that seems to suggest that such technology has been well tested by the military outside the watchful eye of even the government. Black
budget money has been going to such technology, without a doubt, and that would also make sense given the ever-expanding infrastructure at Area51.
Expansion of the groom lake facility goes back at least a decade, contrary to what alot of magazine articles have claimed which is that the base has
been closed. If anything, the activities at the base are steadily on the rise.. Brand new, immense hangars have been built, support and maintenance
facilities are still being constructed, and "Janet" flights are ferrying people to and from Area51 at least 2-3 times daily.
Alot of hypersonic aircraft technology has already been developed and has been getting "perfected" over the last decade or two using black budget
dollars. But some companies in the private sector have also openly been researching hypersonic propulsion systems for about a decade. In 2002 I read
a mainstream news article (I think it was from CNN) that said Boeing was dumping untold amounts of R&D money into anti-gravity propulsion.. I was in
the military at the time I read the article. Since then, I've searched high and low for that news story but it doesn't seem to be anywhere.. (which
seems pretty odd to me).
Here is a thread I started a year or two ago which has a youtube video showing what some people are claiming is "aurora", and although we have no
way of knowing that (it's too far away), it definately seems as though some kind of Pulse detonation technology is in use by this aircraft when you
watch the formation of the very distinct contrail.
Video proof of pulse detonation propulsion?
I mean, comon. Stealth technology was researched and developed at Area51 during the 1960's and 70's.. Pulse detonation propulsion was originally
patented even before that in 1952. To think that we don't have all sorts of hypersonic propulsion systems by now is almost absurd when you account
for the immensity of black budget spending since that timeframe. R&D of newer generations of extremely-advanced aircraft didn't end with the B-2,
the F-117, or the F-22.. And we know that the air force is testing something at Area51. Research and development of the F-117 (originally contracted
under the name "have-blue") began in 1969, but it didn't enter operational status until 1983. That's a long time to keep an aircraft completely
unknown to the public. And they did it, despite people reporting "UFO's" of black triangles flying around over the years.
It could be that they are publicly researching and perfecting the technology completely separate from any black-budget research conducted thus far.
But even then, the government might just see this as an opportune time to phase-in such new technology so people don't completely lose it when
already existing hypersonic aircraft like aurora are eventually declassified. It would at least make complete sense that the private sector would be
years behind the world of black budget research (also separate from NASA, as NASA is its own federally-funded government entity).
Not to say NASA scientists and engineers haven't worked on black budget programs because they probably have. But there would be no cross-over of
technology between the two for obvious national security reasons.
This part of the news article is what is kinda silly when you think about it..
"Hypersonic technology offers a quantum leap in speed and fuel efficiency for air vehicles of the future,'' he said.
We already know that hypersonic technology maximizes efficiency (depending on the properties of the engine, aircraft) as well as speed. But as far as
this approach and launching the vehicle on a rocket.. When you consider the fact that they had to launch it on a friggin rocket It's actually not
such a "quantum leap" as far as efficiency goes.. It's actually pretty inefficient when you factor that detail in. Somehow they are eventually
going to have to figure out how to make it feasible for an aircraft at subsonic speeds to be able to take off and land. That could make the engine
ALOT less efficient. And that's something they would even admit, though maybe not publicly. Unless, of coarse, they just plan on launching
airplanes up on rockets or magnetic slingshots (both not so cost effective when you include all these different factors).
Even the SR-71 was extremely fuel efficient at high-altitude "cruising" speeds. But when the SR-71 sat on the runway prior to takeoff the thing
pissed fuel like a 65 year old alcoholic with no bladder control. It had to be refuelled as soon as it took off or it would inevitably crash. This
is because the aircraft heated up so much during flight that metal expansion had to be factored into the engineering of the aircraft. Prior to
take-off, the metal hadn't expanded properly yet.. Thus, it dumped fuel all over itself and the runway. So, again, efficiency is always relative to
the engineering of the aircraft. An aircraft that is efficient at its designed air-speed is not necessarily an energy efficient aircraft (or cost
efficient for that matter).
[edit on 22-5-2009 by BlasteR]