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Imagine a hypersonic plane that can go so fast it takes travel to the next level, traveling at speeds as high as 4,800 km/ hour. Well, it would seem that we don’t have to imagine because such a plane is in the works.
On June 7th of 2017, Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs that also goes by the abbreviation ADP confirmed the rumors that they were indeed developing a hypersonic plane that is being called the SR-72 which will be an advancement to the SR-71.
The SR-72 thanks to advancements in technology top anything ever done before and the plane is for it to reach as high a level as Mach 6. The plans for this amazing aircraft have been in the works since the beginning of the 21st century, and there have been leaks that such a plane was indeed being developed. Even though little was actually confirmed by the Air Force or anyone else involved in the project such as Lockheed. Now comes official word that the project is indeed in the works.
Lockheed has gone about taking great measure to create their first hyper-sonic plane. This includes going into a partnership with a company known as Aerojet Rocketdyne to secure the right kind of cycle engine that combines the engine of a scramjet with that of a rocket. So, what does this mean for the future of air travel?
Well, this project could be just the beginning, yes the SR-72 will no doubt be a military plane but imagine one that is used for commercial use? May seem like something that’s not possible but think about all the other advancements that started out as projects for the government such as say the World Wide Web also known as the Internet. Who knows in the future hypersonic planes could be used to take individuals on plane trips that use to be around eight hours if not longer, doing so in less than an hour or shorter periods of time. Who knows where this will take us. Right now though Lockheed is concentrating on their baby the SR-72, and getting it done along with DARPA. In their statement Lockheed’s Executive Vice President was quoted as saying:
“We’ve been saying hypersonics [are] two years away for the last 20 years, but all I can say is the technology is mature and we, along with DARPA and the services, are working hard to get that capability into the hands of our warfighters as soon as possible, ”