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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2008 > Oct > Oct 16

Blackswift Project Axed

From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 14:03:54 -0300
Archived: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 22:39:05 -0400
Subject: Blackswift Project Axed



The following was supposed to replace the SR-71 Blackbird as
reported on this List last year.

DARPA's Hypersonic Blackswift Project Axed

http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/avflash/1233-full.html#198999

The Blackswift project, which aimed to develop a hypersonic
airplane that could fly at Mach 6, has been cancelled due to a
lack of funding. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force had hoped to start work on an
unmanned prototype later this year and fly it by 2012, but
Congress was unconvinced that the program's aims were
attainable, or necessary. Funding was cut from the requested
$120 million to just $10 million, which DARPA says is not enough
to move forward. "Obviously we are disappointed," DARPA program
manager Steven Walker said, according to Aviation Week. He said
lots of work already has been done to develop the hypersonic
engine. "The Blackswift testbed would have been able to take off
under its own power, cruise at Mach 6, maneuver at hypersonic
speeds and land, and then do it again," Walker said.
"Blackswift, or something very much like it, will be a required
step prior to the U.S. developing an operational, reusable, air-
breathing hypersonic airplane." That door may be closed for now,
but DARPA already is opening other windows. The agency recently
published a request seeking designs for a submersible airplane
that can fly under water.


"DARPA is interested in exploring radical new technologies that
can provide a game-changing DoD capability for inserting small
teams, clandestinely, along coastal locations," the agency says
in its solicitation. "One such technology is a submersible
aircraft. A submersible aircraft would combine the key
capabilities of three different platforms: 1) the speed and
range of an aircraft; 2) the loiter capabilities of a boat; and
3) the stealth of a submarine." The virtual world is far ahead
on this one. An outfit called Cubey Terra started to sell a
submersible airplane for users of the online game Second Life
several years ago. The Terra Tigershark seats two avatars, can
change color on command, and vanishes from the sky after the
ejection seat is deployed.




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