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 Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane 
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Post Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
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Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | August 11, 2011 9:10 AM EDT
Speedier, perhaps, than even Superman, the fastest plane ever built, the Falcon HTV-2, can get from London to Sydney in less than an hour, all the while withstanding temperatures of almost 2,000 Celsius -- hotter than the melting point of steel.

On Thursday, the U.S. Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is set to launch the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 on the back of a rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The plan is to launch Falcon HTV-2 to the edge of space, before detaching the plane and guiding it on a hypersonic flight that will reach speeds of up to 13,000 miles per hour (roughly 20 times the speed of sound) before returning to Earth, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The experimental aircraft is fast enough to travel from New York to Los Angeles in just 12 minutes. By contrast, it would take a normal jet more than five hours to make that same trip.

The Falcon HTV-2 first began in 2003, as part of a U.S. military research project to create a plane that could reach any part of the world in less than an hour, and potentially deliver bombs in under the same amount of time.

Thursday's launch will be Falcon HTV-2 first test, so far only being tested in computer models and wind tunnels, which can only simulate speeds to Mach 15, or 11,400 mph.

The flight will also test the carbon composite materials designed to withstand the extreme temperatures the plane will experience on its skin, in addition to the navigation systems that will control its trajectory as it moves at almost four miles per second.

"We need to increase our technical knowledge to support future hypersonic technology development. We gained valuable data from the first flight, made some adjustments based on the findings of an engineering review board to improve this second flight, and now we're ready to put all of that to the test," said Dave Neyland, director of DARPA's Tactical Technology Office.

Falcon HTV-2 is DARPA's second test flight after a few changes were made when the first attempt failed in April of 2010, with that aircraft crashing into the Pacific Ocean just nine minutes after takeoff. The aircraft was never recovered. A design flaw was suspected by engineers as the cause of the malfunction.

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/196227/ ... -darpa.htm

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August 11th, 2011, 10:14 am
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
darn..i was hopin there would be pics of the plane..:(

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August 11th, 2011, 10:36 am
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
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US military to launch fastest-ever plane

Unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 can travel from London to Sydney in less than an hour

Alok Jha, science correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 10 August 2011 19.53 BST


Image
Artist's rendition of the Falcon HTV-2, an unmanned, rocket-launched aircraft that flies at approximately 13,000 miles per hour. Photograph: AP/DARPA) Photograph: AP

By the time you finish reading this sentence, the Falcon HTV-2, the fastest plane ever built, could have flown 18 miles. It would get from London to Sydney in less than an hour, while withstanding temperatures of almost 2,000C, hotter than the melting point of steel.

At 3pm BST on Thursday , the US Defence Advance Research Projects Agency will launch the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 on the back of a rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. If all goes to plan, engineers will launch the Falcon HTV-2 to the edge of space, before detaching the plane and guiding it on a hypersonic flight that will reach speeds of 13,000mph (about 20 times the speed of sound) on its return to Earth.

The Falcon started life in 2003, part of a US military research project to build a plane that could reach (and potentially deliver bombs to) any part of the world in less than an hour.

The plane has been tested in computer models and wind tunnels, but they can only simulate speeds up to Mach 15 (11,400mph). A real test is the only way to determine if the plane will remain flying at high speeds.

Thursday's flight will also test the carbon composite materials designed to withstand the extreme temperatures the plane will experience on its skin and also the navigation systems that will control its trajectory as it moves at almost four miles per second.

The design and flight pattern of the plane has been tweaked since an aborted test flight in April last year. Nine minutes into that mission, which succeeded in flying for 139 seconds at Mach 22 (16,700mph), the onboard computer detected an anomaly and ordered the plane to ditch into the ocean for safety reasons.

Unlike most other rocket launches, this one will not be shown live online, though it will be possible to follow the plane's progress via tweets from @DARPA_News.


August 11th, 2011, 10:43 am
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
wow guys you are on it! New question: what is the intent of this plane? Obviously it's not going to be a fighter...so are we talking a mini bomber here? A new spyplane? anyone know?

Looks like a giant arrowhead! BTW....crazy!

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August 11th, 2011, 10:46 am
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
Was designed to deliver a bomb payload anywhere in the world in less than an hour. It would just take 6 months to get the rocket ready to launch it... so 6 months and an hour lol.


August 11th, 2011, 10:52 am
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
so at this point it's pretty much useless? awsome!

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August 11th, 2011, 12:27 pm
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
Actually I have no clue how long it takes to crank up and have the rockets ready... but this is an interesting spin...
Quote:
U.S. hypersonic glider launched, contact lost

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency says contact with its experimental hypersonic glider was lost after launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast.

Scottie McCord, AP

The agency says in Twitter postings that its unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 was launched Thursday atop a rocket, successfully separated from the booster and entered the mission's glide phase.

The agency says telemetry was subsequently lost, but released no details..

A similar vehicle was launched last year and returned nine minutes of data before contact was prematurely lost.

The small aircraft is supposed to maneuver through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph before intentionally diving into the ocean.

The U.S. military is trying to develop technology to respond to threats around the globe at speeds of Mach 20 or greater.


August 11th, 2011, 12:41 pm
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
soooo it's rediculously tough to get off the ground and they can't track it when it finally makes it to the air.......This is getting worse and worse....

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August 11th, 2011, 2:23 pm
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
regularjoe12 wrote:
darn..i was hopin there would be pics of the plane..:(


This just in...

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August 11th, 2011, 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
HA! awsome! :lol: :lol:

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August 11th, 2011, 4:11 pm
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
It crashed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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This story was updated at 5:42 p.m. ET.

An unmanned military plane billed as the "fastest aircraft ever built" crashed into the Pacific Ocean today (Aug. 11) after a malfunction caused it to stop sending signals while flying at more than 20 times the speed of sound, military officials said.
Falcon Hypersonic HTV-2 Gliding
The Falcon hypersonic HTV-2 is an unmanned, rocket-launched, maneuverable aircraft that glides through the Earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds.

The flying prototype, called the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), plunged into the ocean after shifting into a mode that allows it to fly Mach 20, or about 13,000 mph, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which oversaw the test flight.

The rocket-launched vehicle is part of an advanced weapons program, called Conventional Prompt Global Strike, which is working to develop systems of reaching an enemy target anywhere in the world within one hour. It blasted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:45 a.m. PDT (1445 GMT). [Photos: DARPA Hypersonic Glider's Mach 20 Test]

"More than nine minutes of data was collected before an anomaly caused loss of signal," DARPA officials explained in a statement. "Initial indications are that the aircraft impacted the Pacific Ocean along the planned flight path."

The update means that today's Falcon HTV-2 test flight, the second performed by DARPA, lasted longer than the project's first flight in April 2010. That first flight lasted nine minutes and ended when an earlier hypersonic vehicle detected an anomaly and also crashed itself into the ocean.

"Here's what we know," said Air Force Maj. Chris Schulz, DARPA HTV-2 program manager, in a statement. "We know how to boost the aircraft to near space. We know how to insert the aircraft into atmospheric hypersonic flight." [10 Military Aircraft that Never Made it Past the Test Phase]

DARPA officials said that according to telemetry from today's HTV-2 flight, the hypersonic vehicle separated from its Minotaur 4 rocket booster as planned, then shifted into the proper configuration for Mach 20 flight — a major feat.

What happens next, though, is a mystery.

"We do not yet know how to achieve the desired control during the aerodynamic phase of flight," Schulz said. "It's vexing; I'm confident there is a solution. We have to find it."

The Falcon HTV-2 aircraft is a wedge-shaped plane equipped with thrusters and aerosurfaces designed to provide control during hypersonic flight. It is built to withstand extreme heating since the flying at Mach 20 can subject it to temperatures of up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit, according to DARPA officials, who called it the fastest flying vehicle ever constructed.

"To address these obstacles, DARPA has assembled a team of experts that will analyze the flight data collected during today's test flight, expanding our technical understanding of this incredibly harsh flight regime," Schulz said. "As today's flight indicates, high-Mach flight in the atmosphere is virtually uncharted territory."

To reach hypersonic speeds, the HTV-2 launched into suborbital space atop a Minotaur rocket. The vehicle then popped free of the booster and re-entered Earth's atmosphere.

During today's test flight, DARPA scientists expected the HTV-2 aircraft to use small rocket thrusters to control its re-entry, then pitch itself up to increase altitude and control. After that, the vehicle was expected to enter a long glide phase in order to perform a set of preprogrammed maneuvering tests while flying at about 13,000 mph.

Once those tests were complete, the vehicle was expected to crash itself into the ocean to end the mission. But during the actual flight, ground stations lost contact with the HTV-2 vehicle earlier than planned.

An engineering review board to analyze that data in order to help shape future global strike programs, DARPA officials said.


August 11th, 2011, 11:02 pm
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
Is anyone else wondering how a plane that they can't seem to fly, can be trusted to "crash itself" into the ocean???

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August 14th, 2011, 9:32 am
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
If it don't fly it crashes.....And I ain't even an enginerd :-s


August 14th, 2011, 8:30 pm
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Post Re: Falcon HTV-2: Military to Launch Fastest-Ever Plane
TNLionsFanatic wrote:
Is anyone else wondering how a plane that they can't seem to fly, can be trusted to "crash itself" into the ocean???


Well... it's 2for2 so far... It has an impeccible crash record...


August 16th, 2011, 12:23 pm
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