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DARKSTAR MIKE and DARKSTAR NOVEMBER
Maiden Flight: May be mid 1989
Introduced: May be Early 1990s, late 1980s
Many believe that the Aurora's top speed could be anywhere between Mach 6-20
The SR-72 is supposedly a hypersonic Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) capable of acheiving speeds of up to Mach 6 and capable of altitudes up to 100,000ft.
Back in the 1980's during the Reagan administration plans were announced for a new Orient Express, which amounted to a plane that would take off and land like a normal aircraft, but cruise at Mach 25 making runs into low Earth orbit as it went from Dulles airport to Tokyo in two hours.
The new hypersonic project, dubbed Blackswift, shares the same take off and land normally approach. It aims for a more achievable speed of a Mach 6.
The chairman of Lockheed has been quoted saying: "Yes, there is an Aurora, however I believe that was the codename for the Northrop B-2A Spirit, wasn't it?"
When an object passes through the air, it creates a series of pressure waves in front of it and behind it, similar to the bow and stern waves created by a boat. These waves travel at the speed of sound, and as the speed of the object increases, the waves are forced together, or compressed, because they cannot "get out of the way" of each other, eventually merging into a single shock wave at the speed of sound.
The power, or volume, of the shock wave is dependent on the quantity of air that is being accelerated, and thus the size and shape of the aircraft. As the aircraft increases speed the shocks grow "tighter" around the craft and do not become much "louder". At very high speeds and altitudes the cone does not intersect the ground and no boom is heard.
hypersonic speeds are speeds that are highly supersonic. Since the 1970s, the term has generally been assumed to refer to speeds of Mach 5 (5 times the speed of sound) and above.
The Falcon program objectives are to develop and demonstrate hypersonic technologies that will enable prompt global reach missions. This capability is envisioned to entail a reusable Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV) capable of delivering 12,000 pounds of payload at a distance of 9,000 nautical miles from CONUS in less than two hours.
A HyperSoar hypersonic Global Range Recce/Strike Aircraft the size of a B-52 could take off from the US and deliver its payload to any point on the globe - from an altitude and at a speed that would challenge current defensive measures - and return to the US without the need for refueling or forward bases on foreign soil. Equipment and personnel could also be transported.
HyperSoar could fly at approximately 6,700 mph (Mach 10), while carrying roughly twice the payload of subsonic aircraft of the same takeoff weight.
For myself, I do not believe PDWE-powered aircraft were responsible for either of the contrails I observed. First, it seems unlikely to me that a secret aircraft would be flown over a large city in broad daylight, especially twice in one afternoon. Second, I heard no remarkable sounds before, or during, my observation of these contrails. Third, and most significantly, the photograph of the origin of the contrail shows that the contrail begins as two separate trails, each one presumably from the jet engines on either side of a commercial airliner. I can only speculate that atmospheric conditions, combined with the air turbulence produced by the aircraft, conspired to merge the two trails into one, and to disturb it at regular intervals, perhaps as a wake vortex periodically intersected the trail.