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Although further studies were conducted after the demise of the HTV-3X under the follow-on Darpa Mode-Transition program, that fell by the wayside, too, after completion of a TBCC engine model in 2009-10. So, Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne “sat down as two companies and asked ourselves, ‘Can we make it work? What are we still missing?’” says Leland. “A Mach 4 turbine is what gets you there, and we’ve been working with Rocketdyne on this problem for the last seven years.”
Finally, he says, the two achieved a design breakthrough that will enable the development of a viable hypersonic SR-71 replacement. “We have developed a way to work with an off-the-shelf fighter-class engine like the F100/F110,” notes Leland. The work, which includes modifying the ramjet to adapt to a lower takeover speed, is “the key enabler to make this airplane practical, and to making it both near-term and affordable,” he explains. “Even if the HiSTED engines were successful, and even if Blackswift flew, we’d have had to scale up those tiny turbines, and that would have cost billions.”
reply to post by Bigburgh
Boomer135 mentioned in another thread somewhere that the AF still flies the KC135Q's with separate tanks to carry JP-7 and JP-8 fuels, so the AF still has something in the air that drinks JP-7. The SR-71 used JP-7 fuel.
Zaph, maybe you can correct me...do we have non-black world jets that burn JP-7 on a regular basis that would need a fleet of tankers carrying JP-7?edit on 1-11-2013 by Sammamishman because: (no reason given)