• Adam Smith Institute

    Adam Smith Institute place holder
  • Philosophy & Logic

    Philosophy and Logic
  • Cambridge

    Cambridge
  • Children’s SF

    Children's Science Fiction
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 419 other followers

At last a successor is announced to Lockheed’s SR-71 Blackbird

sr-72-newThe SR-71 was legend, serving as America’s top spy plane and still holding several world speed records.  It was an awesome machine, capable of mach 3, and beyond the range of interceptors and even missiles.  Its successor, just announced will be twice as fast, flying at hypersonic speeds only the rocket-powered X-15 could achieve.  The new plane is currently designated SR-72 by Lockheed’s  Skunk Works and will be powered by an air-breathing engine rather than a rocket.  The breakthrough achieved in cooperation with Aerojet Rocketdyne combines a turbojet with a scramjet.  The partnership seems to have solved the problem of moving between the two modes by lowering the speed of the scramjet, which has to be flying supersonic before it can operate.

The drawback is that we are all going to have to wait.  The company plans a scaled demonstrator by 2023, and the finished version could enter service by 2030.  This sounds too long to my ears.  I think it more likely that a secret version will be flying long before they unveil the public one for official photographs.  My guess is that versions of it will be flying espionage missions by the end of this decade.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: