Codenamed the ‘Valkyrie II’, the hypersonic
Air craft of Boeing, will travel at speeds Mach-7
Boeing is developing a hypersonic military aircraft, secretive concept vehicle, which
has been billed as a potential successor to the legendary Blackbird SR-71 spy plane.
Boeing first unveiled a concept model for the high-speed strike and reconnaissance vehicle
last month, but a senior researcher at the company has now revealed new details.
Kevin Bowcutt, Senior Technical Fellow of hypersonics at Boeing Research & Technology,
claimed the aircraft ‘Valkyrie II’ will travel more than twice the speed of a bullet.
Hypersonics Speed is the new stealth. when it comes to developing a high-speed reconnaissance
aircraft. ‘It’s two-and-a-half times the speed of a
speeding bullet. It’s more than twice as fast as the Concorde. ‘So basically you can get
anywhere in the world in one hour across the Atlantic, two hours across the Pacific – pretty
much anywhere between two points in one-to-three hours.’ Mr Bowcutt said.
A concept model for the hypersonic Air craft was first unveiled by Boeing at the American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech forum in Orlando, Florida in January.
Although the company has not yet green light the project, it said at the conference that
a proof-of-concept vehicle could be built in the next 10-20 years.
Mr Bowcutt, who is based at Boeing’s research centre in Long Beach, California, said: ‘This
is one of several concepts and technologies we’re studying for a hypersonic aircraft.
‘This particular concept is for a military application that would be targeted for an
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and strike capabilities.’
Boeing is planning a two-step development process.
First, it plans to begin test flights with the size of F-16 and then test flights with
a twin-engine, full-scale operational vehicle that measures 107 ft long (33 metres).
The design unveiled in Florida last month has not yet been approved for full-scale development
but it shows a twin-tail, highly swept delta wing configuration.
Speaking to News last month, Mr Bowcutt said: ‘It’s a really hard problem to develop an
aircraft that takes off and accelerates through Mach 1 all the way to Mach 5 and beyond. ‘The specific impulse of an air breathing
engine goes down with increasing velocity, so you have to make the engine bigger to get
to Mach 5 and more. The Valkyrie II is designed to carry out undetectable
spy missions in a similar fashion to LockheedMartin’s SR-71, the world’s fastest and highest-flying
operational manned aircraft and, in 1976 set an absolute speed record of 2193mph
If developed by Boeing, the Valkyrie II will smash this record, with the hypersonic craft
capable of reaching Mach 5 or higher. In September last year it was announced Lockheed
Martin was already testing a radical hypersonic update
The SR-72 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.
‘Simply put, I believe the United States is on the verge of a hypersonics revolution.’ Thank You For Watching. Please Like, Share,
Comment and Subscribe.