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The Military Science Technology

DARPA Set To Blast Falcon Mach 20 Test Flight 201

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the are-we-there-yet dept.
coondoggie writes "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is taking to the sky again, this time to run what it says will be the second and final test of its hypersonic Falcon aircraft, which is capable of hitting speeds up to Mach 20, or about 13,000MPH. The Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 is scheduled to launch Wednesday between 7:00am — 1:00 pm PDT from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., aboard an Air Force Minotaur IV rocket. The rocket delivers the Falcon to a starting point high in the atmosphere, where its engine ignite, and, if all goes well, it will blast through the air for about a half hour, DARPA says."
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DARPA Set To Blast Falcon Mach 20 Test Flight

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  • Re:13,000mph? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tommy2tone (2357022) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @02:21PM (#37035390)

    Well, if you need to shoot down a satellite, I suppose launching a missile from something that's already going at 13000mph is easier than launching it from the ground.

    Why not just put a rocket on top of the something that's travelling 13,000 mph? Keeps the costs down.

    but this would be more of a concept testing for the engine, with "making it practical to use" left as work for other people.

    This is probably what it is for. Someone probably already has a practical use for it, but doesn't want to reveal what that practical use would be. They just need the engine. DARPA likes to do this, where they say, "Hey design some random crazy piece of equipment that you couldn't ever fathom using. The piece of equipment must be fully functional, and we don't plan on telling you what it is for in the end. Thanks."

  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@got.nERDOSet minus math_god> on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @02:56PM (#37035728) Journal

    At 13,000 mph the delivery time is about half an hour. Figure the furthest spot on the planet is 12,000 miles from launch site and that means less than an hour ro anywhere on the planet. Can you say DAMN FAST!!!

    As for delivering ordinance, you would coordinate a fast delivery vehicle with local eyes in the air and possibly eyes on the ground. Drop a couple multi-warhead smart bombs and you pretty much have obsoleted any other kind of bomber. Add fly by wire plus autonomous smart electronics, and predator drones, and you pretty much don't have to change out of your jammies to blast the snot out of somebody half a world away.

    On the more productive side, this technology would lend itself to eventually creating aircraft capable of LEO space flight, and ultra high speed global travel. The idea of getting anyplace on earth in less time than it takes to get through the security line is kind of shocking. Anyone for high tea in Johannesburg?

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