Sponsor Message:
Military Aviation & Space Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Skunk Works SR-72 In The Works  
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1846 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7666 times:

After decades of rumors, Lockheed confirms serious design work on a potential SR-71 successor. They've come up with a way to use an existing fighter engine and transition it in flight in a way that will cover the gap between turbojet and ramjet/scramjet for mach 6 operation. Not a bad article from Guy Norris.
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....l/awx_11_01_2013_p0-632731.xml&p=1


Andy Goetsch
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5385 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (9 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7261 times:

I'll go anal retentive here. Here's hoping that when/if it's picked up by DOD and given an official designation it's just the R-1. What's the point of having a designation/nomenclature system if it's just being ignored?


South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlinelarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1444 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 7199 times:

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 1):
I'll go anal retentive here. Here's hoping that when/if it's picked up by DOD and given an official designation it's just the R-1. What's the point of having a designation/nomenclature system if it's just being ignored?

Agreed, but it will probably be the SR-2 since TR-1 already exists. Unless of it is going to be RQ-19.

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
User currently offlineSLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7003 times:

Wow! What a timeline! The article is nothing more than a Lockheed Martin advertisement in my opinion. They MIGHT have a demonstrator in ten years!?!? I'm not impressed! And a system by 2030?

If they want to show the real SR-72 (or whatever it was called), de-classify the two stage system that didn't work, not some "plan" that's no where near being funded! !

SLCPilot



I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
User currently offlineboeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1025 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (9 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6918 times:

Interesting article. Funny thing about 6 or 7 years ago I was out in Mojave with a friend scrapping some airplanes. We kept hearing a sonic boom about every 2 hours. Being down the street from Edwards AFB we didn't pay it much mind. After about the forth time we watched as something would come down from a very high alt. make a wide sweeping turn while its chase play would play catch up. Then this aircraft would make another run back towards the north east and go back up to a high alt and very high speed. We never saw anything but vapor trails. Even with a telephoto lens it was nothing but a dark dot in the sky. This was after the SR-71's had been "officially" retired.

Maybe it is like the stealth fighters and they already have it, they just are now teasing the public with it.

David

PS> and no I wasn't out in the heat or sun to much this day.



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offlinedtw9 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1156 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (9 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6910 times:

Sure smells like the long denied AURORA to me.

User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1846 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6709 times:

A pretty cool presentation of the contrast between the proposed engine and the SR-71s.
http://www.aviationweek.com/Portals/...dia/hyperengines/hyperengines.html
And a different article from Parabolic Arc.
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2013/11/...rsonic-mach-6-aircraft/#more-50544

[Edited 2013-11-02 06:41:13]


Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3874 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6379 times:

So will this aircraft be manned or flown by remote ?

User currently offlineNBGSkyGod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 809 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (9 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6086 times:

Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 4):
Interesting article. Funny thing about 6 or 7 years ago I was out in Mojave with a friend scrapping some airplanes. We kept hearing a sonic boom about every 2 hours. Being down the street from Edwards AFB we didn't pay it much mind. After about the forth time we watched as something would come down from a very high alt. make a wide sweeping turn while its chase play would play catch up. Then this aircraft would make another run back towards the north east and go back up to a high alt and very high speed. We never saw anything but vapor trails. Even with a telephoto lens it was nothing but a dark dot in the sky. This was after the SR-71's had been "officially" retired.

If I can recall correctly, NASA operated theirs until the late '90s.



"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12424 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (9 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5963 times:

Quoting garnetpalmetto (Reply 1):
I'll go anal retentive here. Here's hoping that when/if it's picked up by DOD and given an official designation it's just the R-1.

You said it, not me... I don't give a monkey's bosom (cf: Astuteman) what they call it...

Quoting SLCPilot (Reply 3):
Wow! What a timeline! The article is nothing more than a Lockheed Martin advertisement in my opinion.

Hoping you read the article, which said:

Quote:

“The next step would be to put it through a series of tests or critical demonstrations,” Leland says. “We are ready for those critical demonstrations, and we could be ready to do such a demonstration aircraft in 2018. That would be the beginning of building and running complete critical demonstrations. As of now, there are no technologies to be invented. We are ready to proceed—the only thing holding us back is the perception that [hypersonics] is always expensive, large and exotic.”

The 2018 time line is determined by the potential schedule for the high-speed strike weapon (HSSW), a U.S. hypersonic missile program taking shape under the Air Force and Darpa (see page 36). “We can do critical demonstrations between now and then, but we don’t believe it will be until HSSW flies and puts to bed any questions about this technology, and whether we can we truly make these, that the confidence will be there.” In spite of the recent success of demonstration efforts, such as the X-51A Waverider, Leland observes that “hypersonics still has a bit of a giggle factor.”

The timing also dovetails with the Air Force hypersonic road map, which calls for efforts to support development of a hypersonic strike weapon by 2020 and a penetrating, regional ISR aircraft by 2030 (AW&ST Nov. 26, 2012, p. 40).

So, if you care to write some checks it could be happening a lot sooner, but in the real world, one can't just charge ahead on their own timelines.

Besides,

Quote:

“We have been continuing to invest company funds, and we are kind of at a point where the next steps would require large-scale testing, which would significantly increase the level of investment we’ve had to make to-date. Between Darpa and the Air Force, it would be highly likely they’d have to fund the next steps,” Leland says.

Perhaps it is an 'advertisement' but not exactly on the timeline you suggest.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineboeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1025 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (9 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5886 times:

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 8):
Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 4):Interesting article. Funny thing about 6 or 7 years ago I was out in Mojave with a friend scrapping some airplanes. We kept hearing a sonic boom about every 2 hours. Being down the street from Edwards AFB we didn't pay it much mind. After about the forth time we watched as something would come down from a very high alt. make a wide sweeping turn while its chase play would play catch up. Then this aircraft would make another run back towards the north east and go back up to a high alt and very high speed. We never saw anything but vapor trails. Even with a telephoto lens it was nothing but a dark dot in the sky. This was after the SR-71's had been "officially" retired.
If I can recall correctly, NASA operated theirs until the late '90s.

It was around 2005 so I don't think it was a NASA SR-71



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30877 posts, RR: 86
Reply 11, posted (9 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5674 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting dtw9 (Reply 5):
Sure smells like the long denied AURORA to me.

According to former Skunk Work's head Ben Rich, AURORA was the budgetary code name for the fly-off demonstrators for the Stealth Bomber program (won by Northrop Grumman with the B-2 Spirit).


User currently offline757gb From Uruguay, joined Feb 2009, 676 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (9 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5485 times:

Quoting SLCPilot (Reply 3):
Wow! What a timeline! The article is nothing more than a Lockheed Martin advertisement in my opinion. They MIGHT have a demonstrator in ten years!?!? I'm not impressed! And a system by 2030?

As much as I'd like it to be real, that's the thought that crossed my mind as well. For me it all sounds very much out of pattern. This type of project is usually surrounded in secrecy and we don't find out about it until it's already operational (F-117 and the SR-71 come to mind). Why announce something so far in advance? Especially if there is some kind of breakthrough involved.



God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
User currently offlinedtw9 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1156 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (9 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5383 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 11):
According to former Skunk Work's head Ben Rich, AURORA was the budgetary code name for the fly-off demonstrators for the Stealth Bomber program (won by Northrop Grumman with the B-2 Spirit).

This is the one I'm referring to.

http://www.defenceaviation.com/2007/06/sr-91-aurora-aircraft.html


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30877 posts, RR: 86
Reply 14, posted (9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4934 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting dtw9 (Reply 13):
This is the one I'm referring to.

I assumed as much.  

However, the basis for that plane was the budget line item titled AURORA. Because it was a black project and it had a catchy high-alrtiude name, folks latched on to it as a theoretical replacement for the SR-71. In response to all that speculation, Mr. Rich came forward with what he claims is the real aircraft that line item covered - the Advanced Technology Bomber / B-2.


I am of the opinion that there is no air-breathing replacement for the SR-71 in development, much less in service. I believe the Boeing X-37 reusable unmanned spacecraft is probably the platform being developed for that purpose and that the three orbital flights so far have been in support of testing for that purpose.


User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1846 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4896 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 14):
I am of the opinion that there is no air-breathing replacement for the SR-71 in development, much less in service. I believe the Boeing X-37 reusable unmanned spacecraft is probably the platform being developed for that purpose and that the three orbital flights so far have been in support of testing for that purpose.

Orbital ops are a completely different animal than what a mach 6 craft would be for. Once you launch anything into orbit it's path is pretty much destined and predictable. And particular orbits require narrow launch windows with brief opportunities for observation of a target.
The proposed craft would be much more versatile than any orbital asset. It could be launched at any target any where at any time, unlike an orbital platform. The only real advantage of an X-37 type craft would be it's crossrange capability if used in an attack, since it could fly a few thousand miles or so after re-entry.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30877 posts, RR: 86
Reply 16, posted (9 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4721 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 15):
Orbital ops are a completely different animal than what a mach 6 craft would be for. Once you launch anything into orbit it's path is pretty much destined and predictable. And particular orbits require narrow launch windows with brief opportunities for observation of a target.

But unlike a satellite that is already in an established orbit, the X-37 can be launched and placed into an orbit necessary to provide the necessary coverage. You can also launch multiple X-37s to provide staggered coverage.

The main draw-back to the X-37 for rapid-response surveillance is the launcher - it needs an Atlas V, which is not something one can quickly whip-up. SSTO would be optimum, but that would require a much larger vehicle in order to house the necessary engines and fuel.


User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1846 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4589 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
The main draw-back to the X-37 for rapid-response surveillance is the launcher - it needs an Atlas V, which is not something one can quickly whip-up. SSTO would be optimum, but that would require a much larger vehicle in order to house the necessary engines and fuel.

Could be another opportunity for Musk. The Air Force is paying close to $400 million for an Atlas V now. A fast response $60 million F9 would be a whole different story.



Andy Goetsch
User currently onlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (9 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4493 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
But unlike a satellite that is already in an established orbit, the X-37 can be launched and placed into an orbit necessary to provide the necessary coverage. You can also launch multiple X-37s to provide staggered coverage.

You can also launch multiple satellites into different orbits. If you limited yourself to what you could fit into the payload bay of an X-37, you could launch it on a much less expensive booster. You'd just need to stock some ready to launch (plus boosters*, etc.), and then you can do it approximately on demand.

The question is returning your payload to Earth after a few months worth the cost of launching four times the mass to orbit?


*Also an issue for an X-37 based system.


User currently offlinegoogles From Kuwait, joined Mar 2013, 14 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3731 times:

Lockheed Unveils Plans for SR-72

http://defensetech.org/2013/11/04/lockheed-unveils-plans-for-sr-72/


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (9 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3719 times:

By the time such a plane is developed, wouldn't hypersonic SAMs be of concern ?


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30877 posts, RR: 86
Reply 21, posted (9 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3609 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
By the time such a plane is developed, wouldn't hypersonic SAMs be of concern?

Perhaps not. Evidently supersonic SAMs were of little concern to the SR-71.


User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1846 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3593 times:

The problem with the SAMs was that the control surfaces were useless above 80,000 feet or so. The same with the MIG-25s. The engines could get them up to U-2 level but they couldn't control the missiles or the planes. They only got Powers by sending dozens of SAMs on ballistic lobs and getting lucky, mostly because idiots in Washington insisted he fly the same exact route they'd flown before.
They might come up with a missile that could theoretically catch a mach 6 plane but it wouldn't be easy in practice.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 878 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (9 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 3575 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 22):
They might come up with a missile that could theoretically catch a mach 6 plane but it wouldn't be easy in practice.

People fundamentally misunderstand this fact because of the narrative surrounding bombers and ICBM's when the B-70 was cancelled and aircraft tried to go low for a while. Everything thinks that because a U-2 got hit that SAM's have an easy time with fast and high targets. They don't.

Such things largely died because the aircraft were going to be quite expensive and the capabilities were pretty much pointless in the context of the times where both sides had 10,000 plus nuclear warheads targeted at one another. No one wanted to spend the money for ABM defenses so pretty much everything else was considered kind of pointless.

There actually is a point to doing such a thing in today's context where you want to deliver precise ordinance against highly defended targets. In that respect it is really not all that different from stealth. It is wholly about changing the ability of enemy defenses to engage you.

People would do really well to remember that if this thing was operating at 80,000 feet that is 15 miles straight up. At 2,000 miles per hour, which is about the speed of some pretty fast missiles (some are fast, some are slower but few sustain that speed for long going straight up) you are taking 18 seconds to just get to altitude. During that 18 seconds something traveling Mach 4 would move about 15 miles.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3393 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (9 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3425 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
By the time such a plane is developed, wouldn't hypersonic SAMs be of concern ?

The problem becomes that at these speeds, you need insane range and/overtake speed to just get the missile into the area of the target. Then you need a substantial payload if you can't ensure a collision. Worse your time of response means a high speed target has already moved huge distances. Unless you are a nation the size of Russia, intercepting a Mach 3+ target that doesn't want to be caught is going to be near impossible.


User currently offlinespink From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 318 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (9 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3535 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
By the time such a plane is developed, wouldn't hypersonic SAMs be of concern ?


In order to have a realistic intercept chance against a Mach 6 plane, you are going to have to have SAMs that are significantly faster.

You pretty much have to pre-launch the SAMs before the plane gets to the SAM's position which gives the aircraft significant notice of the launch. For the SR71, the standard practice was to initiate a turn in that case which meant that now the SAMs not only needed to get to altitude, they also needed enough velocity to chase on overtake the SR71. And by the time the SAMs could even get to altitude, the SR71 has completed its turn and is accelerating away at max thrust.

For a Mach 6 vehicle, there exists only 1 missile with the potential to be viable and that is the 40N6 used by the S-400 system, though the 40N6 is as designed an ultra long range missile with a hypersonic parabolic ballistic trajectory designed to engage slower moving support craft (AWACS et al) at extreme range (240 nm+) and would likely fair poorly against an 80kft plane traveling at Mach 6. The entire rest of the Russian arsenal of surface to air missiles lack the speed to even have a chance against a Mach 6 strike aircraft. A slight divert in flight path is all that is required to evade pretty much any other SAM when you are going Mach 6, the SAMs will run out of fuel before they get within miles of the aircraft.

In order to build a SAM that could engage a Mach 6 aircraft, you have to get into booster stages that resemble ICBM/MRBM stages in order to boost an interceptor missile fast enough and with enough velocity to have a chance. The Interceptor missile needs to be boosted to altitude at a minimum of Mach 6 and then have the capability to zoom to mach 8-10+ for a reasonable period of time to catch up with the Mach 6 aircraft. Meanwhile in the strike role, the Mach 6 aircraft is going to be releasing Air-to-Ground missiles with a starting speed of Mach 6 and then getting boosted to an even higher velocity by their propulsion systems giving them a significant speed boost to mach 7-8+. This means that the speed and range of the Mach 6 aircraft's missiles are going to be significant, several hundreds of NM.

In short, intercepting a Mach 6 aircraft will be extremely difficult and expensive and if that aircraft has hypersonic missiles itself, it is unlikely that it will even be within SAM range long enough to make intercept possible. Its a significantly harder problem to solve than intercepting a ballistic missile. Esp since it is likely than any Mach 6 strike aircraft will also be employing a wide variety of active jamming technologies and passive scanning technologies that make target acquisition harder and allow the Mach 6 aircraft to skirt around major SAM site edges. Esp when you consider the size of the SAMs that would be required to even have a chance at intercepting a Mach 6 aircraft. Again, we're talking about SAMs and launchers that would be closer in size to ICBM launchers than any conventional SAM launcher.


User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3909 posts, RR: 4
Reply 26, posted (9 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 22):
They only got Powers by sending dozens of SAMs on ballistic lobs and getting lucky, mostly because idiots in Washington insisted he fly the same exact route they'd flown before.

Ok, how do you account for the other 5 U-2s shot down by China? Some of them were on routes never flown before...


User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1846 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (9 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3435 times:

Quoting moo (Reply 26):
Ok, how do you account for the other 5 U-2s shot down by China? Some of them were on routes never flown before...

Same way. They knew when they were coming and where, and had batteries of 50 SA-2s waiting. There was no terminal guidance unless the U-2s were below 60,000 feet, but those old SAMs had large warheads and the U-2 was about the flimsiest aircraft ever built. Their light weight was their biggest secret and the skins were about as thick as cooking foil. Two dozen SA-2s with 500 pound warheads could put up a pretty good flak curtain. What they couldn't do was lock on and chase ta target past 60,000 feet. They had to aim from 50,000 and hope to be effective. Same with MIGs.
There were also rumors of Chinese pilots taking the planes to 40,000 feet because problems made use at 70,000 a little iffy, but just rumors as far as I know.

[Edited 2013-11-13 09:11:01]


Andy Goetsch
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Skunk Works SR-72 In The Works
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Military aviation related posts only!
  • Not military related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Silent Eagle Sale To Rokaf In The Works? posted Thu Nov 4 2010 14:27:00 by Lumberton
B-52 Upgrades In The Works posted Fri Aug 23 2013 10:11:12 by kanban
C-130J Lands At Highest Airstrip In The World posted Wed Aug 21 2013 10:26:29 by DTW2HYD
Who Does Flight Planning In The Military? posted Wed Jul 3 2013 13:28:48 by ryu2
Aircraft Carriers In The Great Lakes? posted Sun Jun 2 2013 12:38:13 by Geezer
Navy P8 In The Tampa / Clearwater Area posted Thu May 16 2013 22:32:15 by Max Q
Usaf F16 Down In The Adriatic posted Mon Jan 28 2013 13:46:28 by chuchoteur
F-5's Still Flying In The U.S. Who Operates? posted Mon Aug 20 2012 16:00:36 by KAUST
Two RAF Tornadoes Down In The Moray Firth posted Tue Jul 3 2012 07:11:36 by moo
Did You Ever Miss Out On Something Cool In The Military? posted Tue Dec 20 2011 12:00:15 by 747400sp

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format