User avatar
Tugger
Topic Author
Posts: 7614
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:16 pm

Apparently a presentation last week by Lockheed at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ SciTech Forum has set some people to wonder if the fabled successor to the Blackbird is in fact now a reality and not just a billion dollar development project.
The speaker was Lockheed vice president Jack O’Banion who oversees the Skunk Works operation.
assuming O’Banion chose his verb tense purposely—came the surprise.

“Without the digital transformation, the aircraft you see there could not have been made,” O’Banion said, standing by an artist’s rendering of the hypersonic aircraft. “In fact, five years ago, it could not have been made.”
[...]
“We couldn’t have made the engine itself—it would have melted down into slag if we had tried to produce it five years ago,” O’Banion said. “But now we can digitally print that engine with an incredibly sophisticated cooling system integral into the material of the engine itself and have that engine survive for multiple firings for routine operation.” The aircraft is also agile at hypersonic speeds, with reliable engine starts, he said. A half-decade before, he added, developers “could not have even built it even if we conceived of it.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... hypersonic

Lockheed has quite a nice presentation on their "future plane":
Image
Image

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/ ... sr-72.html

So, is this "Aurora" actually flying today? Inquiring minds want to know.... :biggrin:

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
parapente
Posts: 2490
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:00 pm

Not only is this one flying.There was probably another one flying between the Blackbird and this one.Why not -who knows - not us!
 
User avatar
BawliBooch
Posts: 1102
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:24 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:01 am

With all the advances in Space based Remote Sensing Techonology, does America even need an aircraft like the SR-71?

Wouldn't it be cheaper and more effective to just build a fleet of advanced recon satellites?
L' Esprit de Mai 68
 
salttee
Posts: 2296
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:26 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:15 am

I'm sure the NRO has a fleet of advanced recon satellites. However, an attribute of (problem with) satellites is that their path is repetitive, so events can take place when they're not overhead. Recon aircraft can have asynchronous appearances. The two work well together.
 
mmo
Posts: 1443
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:04 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:23 am

And Boeing's entry into the competition.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing- ... -contender
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
Calder
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:34 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:19 pm

Pretty cool, I assume it will be optionally manned.
C. T.
 
DigitalSea
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:35 pm

salttee wrote:
I'm sure the NRO has a fleet of advanced recon satellites. However, an attribute of (problem with) satellites is that their path is repetitive, so events can take place when they're not overhead. Recon aircraft can have asynchronous appearances. The two work well together.


The new Zuma satellite is one of those attempts to circumvent the issue of having a predictable travel path.

An unmanned hypersonic recon aircraft is a great asset to have. I believe at the moment the USAF has 3 propulsion technology demonstrators, each with their own unique system. 2 of them being extremely classified.
 
User avatar
JetBuddy
Posts: 1897
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:04 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:18 pm

DigitalSea wrote:
salttee wrote:
I'm sure the NRO has a fleet of advanced recon satellites. However, an attribute of (problem with) satellites is that their path is repetitive, so events can take place when they're not overhead. Recon aircraft can have asynchronous appearances. The two work well together.


The new Zuma satellite is one of those attempts to circumvent the issue of having a predictable travel path.

An unmanned hypersonic recon aircraft is a great asset to have. I believe at the moment the USAF has 3 propulsion technology demonstrators, each with their own unique system. 2 of them being extremely classified.


As far as I know, Zuma follows the same track as the ISS at 51 or 53 degrees or so, but at a much higher altitude.

But I agree hypersonic recon aircraft are a valuable asset to have. I wouldn't be surprised if there were multiple Auroras flying already.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 25306
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:56 pm

Just for the record, "Aurora" was the code name for the B-2 Spirit Bomber during it's classified development.

And I expect whichever technology demonstrator is green-lighted for production will not be manned as that increases the size and complexity and could limit the endurance.
 
User avatar
ikolkyo
Posts: 1984
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:43 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:15 pm

Stitch wrote:
Just for the record, "Aurora" was the code name for the B-2 Spirit Bomber during it's classified development.

And I expect whichever technology demonstrator is green-lighted for production will not be manned as that increases the size and complexity and could limit the endurance.


Right but I believe he was referencing this "Aurora" aircraft. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(aircraft)
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 25306
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:12 pm

ikolkyo wrote:
Stitch wrote:
Just for the record, "Aurora" was the code name for the B-2 Spirit Bomber during it's classified development.

And I expect whichever technology demonstrator is green-lighted for production will not be manned as that increases the size and complexity and could limit the endurance.


Right but I believe he was referencing this "Aurora" aircraft. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(aircraft)


I'm sure he was, but the basis of that was the budget line-item for a "Black" program called "Aurora". Everyone at the time assumed it was for the SR-71 replacement because aurora are high-altitude phenomena, but it was in fact for the B-2. If there was an SR-71 replacement being developed at the time, it would have had a different code name in large part because Black codenames are deliberately chosen to ensure you can't make a connection with what they really are.
 
User avatar
cpd
Posts: 5359
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:53 am

This SR-72 (aka Prompt Global Strike) has been in development for a very long time. It was seen being wind-tunnel tested in a documentary on the Skunkworks operations many years ago. I'm very sure this plane is already flying.

I've seen plans for a craft quite a lot like this SR-72 that was intended to be manned.

It is suspected there are a few very high speed research/test aircraft already flying based on numerous sightings. It's just a matter of which one of them is the SR-72, or if it is the least sophisticated and least capable of them all. I have a feeling the SR-72 might be the oldest and least capable of them all given they are talking about it openly.
 
User avatar
Tugger
Topic Author
Posts: 7614
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:28 pm

Stitch wrote:
I'm sure he was, but the basis of that was the budget line-item for a "Black" program called "Aurora". Everyone at the time assumed it was for the SR-71 replacement because aurora are high-altitude phenomena, but it was in fact for the B-2. If there was an SR-71 replacement being developed at the time, it would have had a different code name in large part because Black codenames are deliberately chosen to ensure you can't make a connection with what they really are.

Actually I have never seen anything official as to what "Aurora" was referencing. That some people, who are under non-disclosure agreements that don't expire when they quit, have said the name was for another program to me at least isn't anything definitive.

Most black programs remain just that unless they somehow become visible to the public. So Aurora could have referenced something else and they tagged it to that to satisfy the curiosity. And of course it might not have been an official reference for the hypersonic project but it came to reference it it the public mindspace more than the B2 (or whatever program).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
User avatar
Tugger
Topic Author
Posts: 7614
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:03 pm

And BTW, I certainly don't mean to be saying you are wrong about Aurora or anything like that. Just noting that I am still not yet convinced.
Ikolkyo was correct that I was just using as a previously connected term (pulse engines and all! ;-) ) to braodly reference this ghost effort.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
meecrob
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:15 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:04 am

I think the fact that you have heard the name "Aurora" negates Aurora's existence. Nobody was sitting around in the 60's asking when we would see the Blackbird fly and nobody in the 80's was sitting around asking when the Nighthawk would fly. They flew and the government told us what the name was. Nobody ever solved a crime with a name first, and evidence second. Any proper black project would not be all over plane nerd message boards for over 20 years. If I were in charge of a spyplane and some planespotters figured my project out, I would expect to be fired immediately, if not thrown in jail for mishandling of sensitive information. I agree with cpd in that if this is real, its the slowest, least-efficient model they have just to dangle a carrot and distract from what is really being developed...a bit like hanging drop tanks off F-22's so you can't see its real radar signature.
 
Noshow
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:00 pm

If it should have existed for some time what sense would it make to still keep it strictly secret? "The other guys" would see it on Radar (yes just smaller) and on satellites. So why not just show it to everybody? From a certain point the SR-71 got shown too.
The mission details can be kept secret as long as needed.
 
Noshow
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:00 pm

If it should have existed for some time what sense would it make to still keep it strictly secret? "The other guys" would see it on Radar (yes just smaller) and on satellites. So why not just show it to everybody? From a certain point the SR-71 got shown too.
The mission details can be kept secret as long as needed.
 
User avatar
Tugger
Topic Author
Posts: 7614
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:26 pm

Noshow wrote:
If it should have existed for some time what sense would it make to still keep it strictly secret? "The other guys" would see it on Radar (yes just smaller) and on satellites. So why not just show it to everybody? From a certain point the SR-71 got shown too.
The mission details can be kept secret as long as needed.

Because to put it simply, unless there is a "need to know" one does not discuss black programs with others. And one never identifies/acknowledges a black program exists to anyone not in the NTK circle. Period.

This is agreed to in writing by everyone involved in a black program.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 25306
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:54 pm

Folks locked onto "Aurora" in 1985 as the code-name for a successor to the SR-71 because Reagan had announced the Rockwell X-30 national spaceplane in 1986 and that was assumed to be the "civilian cover" for the development of a military variant based off of the "Copper Canyon" research at DARPA in the early 1980s.

But as I noted, a Black Program name would never give even a hint of what the program was, which is why it was assigned to the B-2 program because the program had nothing to do with high altitudes and high speeds. :)

So if there was a military hypersonic program in active development in the 1990s (when X-30 was formally cancelled), it would have been called "Senior something" (I believe "Senior Citizen" is the current favorite) or "Have something" with absolutely zero connotations to what it actually was - and certainly nothing relating to high atmospheric travel or high speed. :)
 
User avatar
cpd
Posts: 5359
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:16 am

Stitch wrote:
it would have been called "Senior something" (I believe "Senior Citizen" is the current favorite) or "Have something" with absolutely zero connotations to what it actually was - and certainly nothing relating to high atmospheric travel or high speed. :)


Hazel? An older one proposed to use either JP4, hydrogen or pentaborane. Both hydrogen and pentaborane fuels were ruled out, especially the latter due to its highly hazardous and dangerous nature. It would blast up to 102,000ft after being dropped from under the wing of a B52 and then stay there for a long while, then glide down for a landing in friendly territory.

It's amazing how many various high speed research/recon aircraft were under development or investigation. :shock: They all must have collectively cost a fortune. One or two of them surely got into the flying stage, if not in service.

This Senior Citizen would be an "advanced theatre transport" machine. Not fast flying either.
 
Planeflyer
Posts: 893
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:49 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:35 am

I’m skeptical that scramjet ac is flying. Like to be wrong but just don’t think so.

Too many reported failures and stoppages.

One thing NK and SpaceX has shown is that you have to press on in the face of failures.
 
Noshow
Posts: 433
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:13 pm

And one never identifies/acknowledges a black program exists to anyone not in the NTK circle.


My point was, if it is flying outside and gets seen by the other guys anyway it would be a good time to show it to the public. Like other former super secret programs at certain points in time got partly declassified. Like the F-117A, the B-2 and such.
 
DigitalSea
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:09 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
I’m skeptical that scramjet ac is flying. Like to be wrong but just don’t think so.

Too many reported failures and stoppages.

One thing NK and SpaceX has shown is that you have to press on in the face of failures.


Definition of disinformation
noun dis·in·for·ma·tion \ (ˌ)dis-ˌin-fər-ˈmā-shən \
: false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth

Definition of misinformation
noun mis·in·for·ma·tion \ ˌmis-ˌin-fər-ˈmā-shən \
: incorrect or misleading information
 
Planeflyer
Posts: 893
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:49 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:57 pm

Yea, could be but I’ll bet a $ the failures were real.
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
Posts: 2009
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:01 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
Yea, could be but I’ll bet a $ the failures were real.


Most contrived failures are.
 
Aptivaboy
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:32 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:20 pm

I think the fact that you have heard the name "Aurora" negates Aurora's existence. Nobody was sitting around in the 60's asking when we would see the Blackbird fly and nobody in the 80's was sitting around asking when the Nighthawk would fly. They flew and the government told us what the name was. Nobody ever solved a crime with a name first, and evidence second.


Then again, we had:

Oxcart - SR-71. Also, "Cygnus" for the A-12 variant.
Project Dragon Lady = U-2.

And yet, these projects existed as did innumerable others. Just because a code name slips out doesn't necessarily mean that it's disinformation. We live in a bureaucratic society where everything gets written down or notated somehow and somewhere. It's funny, I was reading a similar discussion on another board. I have a friend who used to work for the Skunk Works. He can now officially say that, and that he worked at Area 51 without being thrown in prison for violating his secrecy oaths but that's about all. However, when mentions of exotic aircraft come up, he laughs and says that there's so much out there that we don't know about, much of it dating back many, many years if not decades (frustrating answer!!!). When some of Lockheed's allegedly unbuilt stealth designs were released to the public a year or so ago dating from the '80s and '90s, he remembered them and intimated that they and others may have reached prototype stage, or at least the proof of concept stage and yet officially we know nothing about them. These secret programs do exist and perhaps someday we'll be fortunate enough to learn about them. But, the mere mention of a code name doesn't mean that they don't, just that a code name slipped out, a code name that may or may not be a misdirection.
 
Aptivaboy
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:32 pm

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:43 pm

I think the fact that you have heard the name "Aurora" negates Aurora's existence. Nobody was sitting around in the 60's asking when we would see the Blackbird fly and nobody in the 80's was sitting around asking when the Nighthawk would fly. They flew and the government told us what the name was. Nobody ever solved a crime with a name first, and evidence second.


Then again, we had:

Oxcart - SR-71. Also, "Cygnus" for the A-12 variant.
Project Dragon Lady = U-2.

And yet, these projects existed as did innumerable others. Just because a code name slips out doesn't necessarily mean that it's disinformation. We live in a bureaucratic society where everything gets written down or notated somehow and somewhere. It's funny, I was reading a similar discussion on another board. I have a friend who used to work for the Skunk Works. He can now officially say that, and that he worked at Area 51 without being thrown in prison for violating his secrecy oaths but that's about all. However, when mentions of exotic aircraft come up, he laughs and says that there's so much out there that we don't know about, much of it dating back many, many years if not decades (frustrating answer!!!). When some of Lockheed's allegedly unbuilt stealth designs were released to the public a year or so ago dating from the '80s and '90s, he remembered them and intimated that they and others may have reached prototype stage, or at least the proof of concept stage and yet officially we know nothing about them. These secret programs do exist and perhaps someday we'll be fortunate enough to learn about them. But, the mere mention of a code name doesn't mean that they don't, just that a code name slipped out, a code name that may or may not be a misdirection.
 
bhill
Posts: 1513
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 8:28 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:56 pm

One of the secondary missions of the SR71 was to get the other guy to light off his radar..and learn and employ ECM such that when things got hot we would be able to perform jamming or spoofing...hard to do from space.....
Carpe Pices
 
salttee
Posts: 2296
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:26 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:48 am

bhill wrote:
One of the secondary missions of the SR71 was to get the other guy to light off his radar..and learn and employ ECM such that when things got hot we would be able to perform jamming or spoofing...hard to do from space.....

Yea, when they tried using a 747 to do that job over the Kamchatka peninsula, it didn't work out so well.
 
User avatar
cpd
Posts: 5359
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Is the "SR-72 Son of Blackbird" flying already?

Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:22 pm

bhill wrote:
One of the secondary missions of the SR71 was to get the other guy to light off his radar..and learn and employ ECM such that when things got hot we would be able to perform jamming or spoofing...hard to do from space.....


Didn't the A-12 and SR-71 do that anyway as a result of the jamming equipment? It basically recorded the transmissions to the missiles (which were not fire and forget) and then would "replay" those transmissions as the missile got closer, the idea being to try and steer the missile elsewhere away from the A-12 or SR-71. At least that's how I heard it being described.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos