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Boeing's 'Son of Blackbird' hypersonic strike aircraft could go five times the speed of sound

Boeing has finally unveiled a successor to the legendary Blackbird SR-71 spy plane, capable of travelling at five times the speed of sound. ( More...

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Jeff Pelton 3
Orbital strike is a nogo. Retasking recon satellites to cover a tactical situation, takes too long, limited orbital resources that are oriented to Strategic intel, not Tactical. Have to have a Quick Response Capability for things that "Pop Up."
bbabis 3
The government still believes we're mushrooms. Meanwhile, Lockheed's is already doing its thing up there.
A May 3
Well boys and girls any idea how long it takes to retask a satellite?
Peter Maas 1
The SR-71 Blackbird is a real "Moetengator" Stay tuned for further development.
Alan Brown 1
Good points. Does make the idea rather redundant, doesn't it.
Why even bother with these "things"? Zuma is in orbit, covering all these functions.
wylann 1
Well, the last Zuma launch didn't make it to orbit.

Also, satellites are predictable, which is what brought the SR-71 out of its first 'retirement'.
waldo kitty 2
are you sure about ZUMA not making it to orbit? it is a spy satellite, afterall... it wouldn't be the first that has hidden for a while before being found... MISTY comes to mind... on ZUMA, i've seen nothing affirmative on the amateur satellite watcher's list stating that the second stage's deorbit was different than that planned and where the NOTAMs were located... if ZUMA was still attached, its mass would have affected the impact area...
Shenghao Han 1
But why? With a advanced radar/high energy laser system (which Russia and China are developing if not already developed), those will be very vulnerable... In operation they will be already flying at limit of their material, with a bit extra heat the structure will become unstable...
Of course, a country like North Korea probably won't able to do anything with those planes...
I think they should think outside the BOX, NO SR-72, the Russians are already thinking about how they can detect it just like the SR-71. Like my Dad would say think not what your enemy thinks, do the opposite and think different.
Lockheed is good but Norththorp is thinking the same thing. But why one engine why not three.
lynx318 1
Spy plane, why? we have satellites.
Strike plane - why? we have ICBM's.
Alan Brown 1
Ain't this great... The SR-71 was admitted as doing Mach 4.6, so you know it went faster, and that was in the late 60's and 70's. Now we are to be impressed with a design that in 20 to 30 years (this is Boeing) MIGHT do Mach 5. Too bad we retired the Black Bird so soon. I am sure that Lockheed will be ready much sooner, and do a better job.
bentwing60 4
Maximum speed: Mach 3.3[129][130][N 5] (2,200+ mph, 3,540+ km/h, 1,910+ knots) at 80,000 ft (24,000 m). Wiki. 4.6 would have melted the airframe and the design 3.2+ mach. number was based on heat buildup considerations from the outset. The absolute speed records in the books were observed and yielded no greater than 3.2+ and have never been broken. Lt. Col. Brian Shul claimed 3.5 in a tell all book about the "Habu" that I can't afford to buy now so I can't quote it but I question your figures. But it was fast. Cheers.
Alan Brown 1
The air craft maintainers in Okinawa had hats that said 4.6+ and 85k+ and the front said HABU. Could have just been exaggeration but who knows for sure. I was there from Aug, 1969 to Aug, 1971. Did not fly the SR-71, nor was I part of the ground crew. Saw the hats on base in various areas.
bentwing60 2
Won't try to dispute your observations. Wasn't there. WIKI. as a source is fairly reliable but is dealing with a program that was black for most of its operational life, thus I agree, who knows. The last records set were on retirement day (figuratively) and yielded 3.2+ with no reason to hide anything and most of its operational capability is now declassified I believe. Walked around the one at Balboa Park and the one in the Udvar-Hazy at Dulles. Awesome is all I can say, from a guy that spent a lot of time in the mid 40's and.80 mach. in Learjets and C650's.
Alan Brown 6
I have to agree, it was an impressive aircraft. I was lucky enough to see one right after it landed one night at Oki. If you can imagine the entire leading edge of that airplane cherry red as it taxied in, that was impressive to see. Truly a great bird!
Dan Drimmie 2
In the early 80's, I was an aircraft Identification officer at the 21st NORAD region (Syracuse NY), when the SR-71 set the speed record for transatlantic/intercontinental speed record. I was the guy who ID'd and tracked it inbound to N.A. We had to track manually as the A/C exceeded the NORAD computer's ability for automatic tracking. I will say that it was no where near Mach 4.6 . bentwing60 is closer to the mark. Cheers.
The first time I saw a Blackbird up close was in 1994 in Tucson before the Museum had the new building. They rescued it from becoming scrap metal and we were walking through the mud touching all the surfaces and walking all around and under it. Our guide was a member of the fueling crew for that particular plane and he told great stories of how the expansion seams would leak out while they fueled on the ground and in the air until it got up to speed. The cherry on top was the drone sitting next to it that would ride piggy-back, do a one-way fly over and then self-destruct after ejecting the film payload. Had the fun of seeing the "Top-Secret Drone Revealed"cover page on Popular Mechanics Magazine the next month and bragging I already knew about it.
wylann 1
It's entirely possible that the aircraft was capable of nearly Mach5. The way the engines work, they actually get better and more efficient at higher speeds. The operational temperatures limited to a little over 3 (about 3.3, I've done the calculations in my gas dynamics/supersonic flow classes). However, it's entirely possible that the airframe and powerplants could surpass that for very limited periods of time.
Based on my conversations with a couple of pilots, they certainly hinted that was the case, but of course, they couldn't give me figures, as it's still classified after all these years. :)
Harold Dola 1
Wouldn't the SR-72 that is under development be more accurately called the 'Son of Blackbird'?
Hey. You know what? I just love aviation, but this is messed up. Show me the need for this type of investment. It is always more money for war and destruction. We have people begging in our streets. Most of the school districts in Colorado have classes four days per week. No money for teachers. No music. No art. Not even gym. We’ve got to get our priorities straight people! I realize I’m off topic here and I apologize but something is seriously wrong here.
lynx318 1
I woulda said priorities should be food, clothes and a roof over ya head, but whatever floats your boat.
beilstwh -9
Is this a real article? It's coming from foxnews and they don't exactly have a reputation for truthful journalism.
Totally unnecessary comment that adds nothing to the conversation. A simple google search will find what you're looking for,
William Buslee -1
Really you want to go there? This is exciting news and you have to toss a grenade on it?

Why not go and ask CNN (a.k.a. the Clinton News Network) to ask Hillary. She probably has something about it on a laptop somewhere.
Mike Dryden 3
So your political biases trump (no pun intended) beilstwh's? Fact is no main stream media organisation really has good form when it comes to aerospace reporting in general, and in defense even less. Maybe when IDR or JDW has something useful to say it might be worth reading. Until then, it's speculation, hyperbole and noise. Yawn. Move along. Nothing to see here.


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