'Son of Blackbird': Plan for a new spy plane

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by stg58, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Only the USA would announce a new "spy" plane.

    I saw an operational SR 71 on the ground and had to touch it:)

    For a big chunk of the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force turned to the SR-71 Blackbird for many of its most important spy missions. The jet-black jet could fly at more than three times the speed of sound at altitudes of 85,000 feet, faster and higher than anything adversaries had to counter it.
    The last of the Blackbirds flew in 1999, and the U.S. military hasn't had anything close since.

    Now, Lockheed-Martin, the maker of the SR-71, says the "Son of the Blackbird," the SR-72, is in the works, and it will be twice as fast as and way more lethal than its father. That's because the SR-72 will be designed to launch missiles, something the SR-71 didn't do.

    "Even with the SR-71, at Mach 3, there was still time to notify that the plane was coming, but at Mach 6, there is no reaction time to hide a mobile target," Brad Leland, Lockheed Martin's program manager for hypersonics, told Aviation Week and Space Technology. The publication provided the first detailed look at the SR-72 plans last week.


    Yard Dart, ghrit and BTPost like this.
  2. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    Back in 79, would watch them take off or land at dusk, out of Kadena on Okinowa..
    Hill AFB in Utah has one on display.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    My Great Uncle was on the SR-71 program as an engineer... camera optics was his specialty. He was a great man that had served a long military career and continued on the civilian side. He taught me patience... he had an abundance of it. Anyways good article and makes me think of him whenever I see the plane... he loved the ugly bastard.
  4. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    The SCRAMjet has been in production for a while now. I find it hard to believe that they retired the SR71 with no other operational alternative.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    They do. Called satellites, continuous coverage, no interruption to turn around and make another pass. Still, it's nice that the aero guys have come up with a way to make the transition from turbo jet to ram- and scram jet velocities. Can satellites be shot down? Of course, so it's also nice that the new bird can fill in until the next satellite launch. (One is none, two is one.)
    Silversnake and tulianr like this.
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have just one word to inject in this conversation....... "Aurora" The little ScramJet you never heard of.......
    Harbin and Brokor like this.
  7. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    ...'til now. :D
  8. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I saw a dounuts on a rope con trail one day and then started hearing about the Aurora. Was it Aurora I don't know and never claim it but there were some secret aircraft were operating out of KI Sawyer AFB causing C band interference at the time. It turns out that the interference was early JSTAR work. It started around 10:00 am and was always done by 3:00 pm can't be late for cocktail hour :)

    It was hotly rumored for awhile but not much in the past 6-8 years.

    Aurora (aircraft) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  9. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Hehe Here's a very small segment of footage showing the X-43 actually separating from the launch vehicle (first launched from B-52). Lol no chase footage... [dunno]

    And here's a news story blurb about it that has a 2 second or so shot of it in the wind tunnel. Only shows separation in conceptual footage though.

    This all happened back in 2004 though...

    And in 2009 they were testing the X-51. No real footage...just sim footage near the end. With some scram jet lab footage too.

    Can't say for sure whether what people call the Aurora is or isn't actually flying. But the wiki page lists some seismic anomalies as far back as 1991 that suggest something was moving awfully fast off the Cali coast.

    Interesting stuff if you're a flight geek. [rockon]
  10. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    The U2 was put back in service to fill the gaps.
  11. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    "no one" knew about the U2 until Gary Powers let one get captured. The Black bird flew for years and no one knew about it outside certain circles. They have something smarter/faster already and it will come to light one of these days.
    BTPost likes this.
  12. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    Anyone remember this? They said when this happened that the technology was so advanced that they had no worries that Iran would ever reverse engineer it.
    Iran–U.S. RQ-170 incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Many people speculated that this craft used cloaking technology to become invisible. If this is the case then they could have all kinds of planes flying around and nobody would ever really know for sure.
  13. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    I dated a girl who's dad was an engineer on the stealth 12 years before congress knew it was a black project. They were building it in the 70s. Lots of pics of him next to it, and at the unveiling with some senators. If you think we haven't been flying something else since retiring the SR71, I'd say rethink it. Had quite a few amazing conversations with him. Brilliant man.
  14. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    I dated a girl who's uncle did all of the optics for sr71. After he finished that he worked on several projects but wouldn't tell us any specifics. He had some amazing photos in his house. A few years back he drank himself to death because the stress of the job was so high. He was a really cool guy, brilliant and funny.
  15. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    Hate to see nice guys go .. Esp. like that..
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