SR-71 Replacement Race. Boeing and Lockheed
Martin are battling to be the first company to launch the successor to the SR-71 Blackbird.
The SR-71 replacement needs to take off and accelerate. So for Boeing and Lockheed Martin
unveiled, The concept hypersonic plane. Boeing was nickname the plane as “Son of Blackbird,”
while the plane being developed by Lockheed Martin has been named project SR-72.
Hypersonic technologies, including a combined cycle propulsion system that blends a rocket
engine and a supersonic jet engine. The SR-71 “Blackbird,” a Cold War reconnaissance
aircraft which was retired by the U.S. Air Force three decades ago was one of the fastest
aircrafts in the world. Now, both Boeing and Lockheed Martin whose hypersonic planes would
have similar designs, are battling to be the first company to launch the successor to the
SR-71, In September last year it was announced Lockheed
Martin was already testing a radical hypersonic update of its Mach 5 SR-72 spy plane is now
sufficiently advanced to allow the planned SR-72 project to begin, it is believed.
The Lockheed SR-72 hypersonic plane will be a strike and reconnaissance aircraft that
tops Mach 6, and the firm has been working on the project since the early 2000s.
‘Although I can’t go into specifics, let us just say the Skunk Works team in Palmdale,
California, is doubling down on our commitment to speed,’ Orlando Carvalho, executive vice
president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin, told the SAE International Aerotech Congress
and Exhibition. The Boeing conceptual model was displayed
at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech forum in Orlando.
Boeing’s chief scientist for hypersonics, Kevin Bowcutt, told Aviation Week that the
twin-tailed, waverider configuration is an evolving yet feasible hypersonic design.
Aviation Week also reported that Boeing “envisions a two-step process beginning with flight tests
of an F-16-sized, single-engine proof-of-concept precursor vehicle leading to a twin-engine,
full-scale operational vehicle with about the same dimensions as the 107-ft.-long SR-71.”
Boeing says it’s hypersonic jet could replays old SR-71 Black Bird
The “airplane concept and associated technology are targeted for a hypersonic ISR (reconnaissance)
strike aircraft that would have the same type of mission as the SR-71,” Boeing spokeswoman
Sandra Angers told Business Insider in an emailed statement. “In that sense it could
be a future replacement for the SR-71.” When asked what exactly it would mean for
warfighters to have hypersonic technology, the manager of Lockheed’s hypersonics division
told Aviation that hypersonic jets armed with hypersonic missiles “could penetrate denied
airspace and strike at nearly any location across a continent in less than an hour.”
‘Speed is the next aviation advancement to counter emerging threats in the next several
decades. ‘The technology would be a game-changer in
theater, similar to how stealth is changing the battlespace today.’
Hypersonic jets, flying at up to Mach 5, could also allow passengers to dramatically cut
journey times. For example, a commercial flight from New
York to Shanghai currently takes about 15 hours – but at hypersonic speeds, could take
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