The New Super SR-72 Hypersonic Aircraft - The Fastest Plane Ever Built

SR-72 Hypersonic Aircraft

Lockheed Martin will make the SR-72, a new hypersonic demonstrator plane, as part of one of its advanced development programs (USAF). This is to meet the needs of the US Air Force.

After Lockheed Martin's SR-71 Blackbird was retired from USAF service in 1998, the new, faster SR-72 plane was developed.
In 2018, work will begin on a prototype of the hypersonic SR-72 aircraft. At around 60 feet in length, this FRV (flight research vehicle) will be piloted only if necessary. A single full-scale engine will allow it to reach Mach 6 and maneuver for several minutes.

The SR-72 plane will be able to conduct ISR and strike missions at lightning speed. The first flight of the SR-72 demonstrator is set for 2023, and the first flight of the mass-produced plane is set for 2030.

The unmanned SR-72 plane will have two engines. Up until Mach 3, the turbine engine will move the plane. Once the plane is moving at hypersonic speeds.

The history behind the creation of the SR-72 aircraft

Lockheed Martin has tried and failed to make a number of high-speed planes to replace the SR-71 since 1998.
As part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Falcon program, Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works designed and built the rocket-launched Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2).
Data on aerodynamics, aerothermal effects, guidance, navigation, and control are the focus of the HTV-2 project. The first flight of the HTV-2 was in April 2010, and its second flight was in August 2011. The highest speed reached by the vehicle was Mach 20. During the making of the HTV-2, lessons were learned and new information gathered that were used to improve the design of the SR-72.
The SR-72 has the following distinguishing features:

Incorporating cutting-edge hypersonic technology, the SR-72 aircraft will serve as a strategic reconnaissance platform. It will have the same size and range as the SR-71, making it suitable for similar missions.

The new aircraft is expected to strike targets anywhere across a continent in less than an hour.

When armed with hypersonic missiles like Lockheed Martin's High Speed Strike Weapon, the new plane will be able to hit targets across an entire continent in under an hour. The aircraft's high speed guarantees entry into restricted airspace.
Combat capabilities for the SR-72 will be available as an add-on. The development of the plane is supported by the USAF's long-term hypersonic road map.

Specifics on the engines that power Lockheed Martin's hypersonic demonstrator

The unmanned SR-72 plane will have two engines. Up until Mach 3, the turbine engine will move the plane. Once the plane is moving at hypersonic speeds, the dual-mode ramjet will power the flight. So that there is less air resistance, the turbine engine and ramjet will both use the same inlet nozzle.

The turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) propulsion system, developed in collaboration between Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and Aerojet Rocketdyne, will allow the aircraft to reach a cruise speed of Mach 6, which is twice as fast as the SR-71.

For the smaller-scale tests of the TBCC system that were done on the ground, a small, commercially available turbine engine was combined with an axisymmetric inlet and nozzle to make a dual-mode ramjet or scramjet.

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