August 14th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Imagine flying from New York to London in under an hour

By Mike Mount, CNN Senior National Security Producer

Perhaps Han Solo said it best in Star Wars when, describing his hyper-fast smuggling spaceship the Millennium Falcon, he said, "It may not look like much, but it's got it where it counts."

While the Air Force might take exception to being likened to the Falcon, in reality the platypus-nosed X-51A Waverider hypersonic flight test vehicle really doesn't look like much. But it definitely has it where it counts.

On Tuesday, the unmanned 25-foot-long vehicle will be dropped off of the wing of a converted B-52 bomber off the California coast and try to fly for 300 seconds at science fiction-like speeds of Mach 6, over 4,500 mph - fast enough to fly from New York to London in less than an hour.

It is the Pentagon's latest test as it studies the possibilities of hypersonic flight, defined as moving at speeds of Mach 5 (about 3,400 mph) and above without leaving the atmosphere. The technology could eventually bring missiles or airplanes to the other side of the planet in minutes instead of hours.

The Air Force and the Pentagon are not saying much about Tuesday's test, but the military could use such technology for reconnaissance aircraft, cruise missile-like weapons or vehicles that could carry people or cargo so fast adversaries would not have time to react, according to military analysts.

The Air Force conceived the X-51A program in 2004 and, according to the military analysis website Globalsecurity.org, the service has spent $140 million on the Waverider system. The Air Force will not disclose the actual cost of the program.

Long like a missile and with just a few fins in the rear, the Boeing-built aircraft is not designed as a bed for a weapon, according to the Air Force, but it is testing the technology to build future weapons around.

Past Waverider flights have come with mixed results. In May 2010, the Waverider made its first flight at 3,500 mph for 143 seconds before a malfunction caused the test to shut down early.

A June 2011 test also was shutdown early but did collect some data for the Air Force.

If all goes as planned, the flight Tuesday will end with a dive into the Pacific; there is no intent to recover the aircraft. The Air Force says the program was designed for each vehicle to be destroyed at the end of its flight test because of the cost that would be involved in recovering them. Data is fed back to evaluators during the test.

The Pentagon considers hypersonic flight the new stealth. The technology could move reconnaissance or bomber aircraft at high altitudes and speeds that put them far out of the reach of surface-to-air missiles or other anti-aircraft fire. The kind of speeds the X-51A is able to reach cannot be achieved with current jet-powered technology.

The aircraft uses "scramjet" technology, an engine with virtually no moving parts. It uses oxygen from the atmosphere for its engines, as opposed to carrying large fuel tanks that rockets require, making it a more efficient vehicle for military or commercial purposes.

Additionally, because of the high speeds the vehicle is also able to ride on the shockwave it creates at six times the speed of sound, increasing efficiency, according to an Air Force factsheet on the X-51A. It says that is also the genesis of the vehicle's nickname, the Waverider.

The Pentagon's high-technology research group, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, says getting aircraft to speeds of Mach 20 - which would enable the military to get anywhere in the world in under an hour - is an area of research where significant scientific advancements have eluded researchers for decades.

The Pentagon says it is studying this technology as countries have made advances in thwarting stealth technologies the U.S military has in its arsenal.

"That strategic advantage is threatened as other nations' abilities in stealth and counter-stealth improve," according to DARPA website. "Restoring that battle space advantage requires advanced speed, reach and range. Hypersonic technologies have the potential to provide the dominance once afforded by stealth to support a range of varied future national security missions."

The military could use it in two realms, according to Dan Wasserbly, the Americas editor of IHS/Jane's, a military analysis publication.

"They could use it to develop cruise missile-like weapons that could reach a target on the other side of the planet in minutes instead of hours, as well as developing aircraft which could put a quick-reaction force on a far-off battleground within hours instead of days," Wasserbly said.

The Air Force has said that by 2016 it would like to have a working weapon flying with hypersonic technology. But with the program budgeted only though this Tuesday's test, it is unclear when anything with hypersonic technology could be fielded, according to Wasserbly.

The Air Force made four of the X-51A test vehicles. Tuesday's test will be the third and possibly last test, according to Air Force spokesman Daryl Mayer.

"The Air Force will review the data from this mission and assess what will come next," he said.

The Pentagon has also been studying other hypersonic technology, including 2010 and 2011 flight tests of the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle (HTV-2) capable of reaching Mach 20, approximately 13,000 mph, according to DARPA.

Both of those tests ended with the aircraft crashing before the tests were complete.

So even after the Air Force evaluates the results of the Tuesday test, it will be hard to know when the military will start launching troops from the U.S. to a far-flung combat zone in minutes.

soundoff (802 Responses)
  1. TimK

    Can't wait for the sonic BOOM!!!!!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
  2. Athena6515

    Hmm. Wasn't this an episode of Star Wars: Next Generation? Some planet created and had a starship ride a wave that was faster then warp drive.. the ship didn't make it and the wave kept going and was on course to hit a planet and the planet would've exploded..

    Anyway.. What happens to this wave after they create it?

    August 14, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • michiganhockey11

      Ahem, it's Star TREK: Next Generation.....

      August 14, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
      • Athena6515

        Lucky.. I got the Next Generation part right. The one with Wesley Crusher.. that is all I remember ha

        August 14, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  3. twotwotango

    Whatever happened to "Loose lips sink ships"

    Nice job by the AIr Force, Pentagon, Mike Mount, and CNN to disclose what OUGHT TO BE SECRET information! No wonder the U.S. is losing it's technological edge. We give everything away. I bet the Chinese are hacking away on getting more info on this as we speak.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • Adam

      More importantly, was there an editor who approved this article before it was hastily written?

      Bad grammar and poor editorial storytelling is making it hard to digest for me, personally. Kind of can't take it seriously.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • Dude

      Yep. We need a Department of STFU.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • Formerairman

      Rest easy my friend. When the pentagon makes something public, it is with deliberate intent. If they show you a test vehicle that does Mach 6, then they usually have something much more advanced that they don't disclose. I know from personal experience. We have technology that you can't even conceive and we are waiting for the right moment to use it. Aka F117 stealth fighter used in first Iraq war. We had that thing for decades before we used it.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
  4. Jokesterer

    This is amazing! We can't wait to use this on some poor country!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • ShermTank

      I vote for Iran first. Preferably loaded with a nuke warhead.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • Phil in Oregon

      No, it's for people who need to travel at 5,000 mph. And have $350,000 for the ticket.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
  5. oyvey

    I like the section. "Security Clearance" like you have special clearance via CNN. Nice psychological twist on a weapon. "Imagine flying to LA from NY under an hour" on a tip of a ballistic missile? hahaha!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
  6. Skeptic

    At Mach 20 when it hits a bird it's like hitting a bomb.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
  7. The Doctor

    The Scramjet intake will cause instability at hypersonic speeds...

    August 14, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • AeroEng

      @ The Doctor
      How do you know for sure, were you part of the research team? Hmm?

      Better know your facts before making your conclusions.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  8. Say it louder

    Wow thats so cool...there are people in America starving but that is so cool.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Jim

      There are always people starving. While that's a tragedy, if we allowed that fact to prevent all research:
      – Columbus would never have sailed
      – The Wright Brothers would have made tractors instead of airplanes
      – We'd never have gone to the moon, to Mars, or even orbitted the Earth
      – We'd never have discovered medicines for most diseases

      August 14, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
      • Liz

        This is very true, Jim! Thanks for the insight. I hadn't thought of it this way. Innovation is hope. I just wish the country would find a better balance between developing military/space technology and developing people who are fed, clothed, sheltered, educated, etc. We need one eye on the future and one on the present.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  9. mikrik13

    Like we really need this. The military budget is ridiculous with expenses such as this. How much real world good could have been done with this money. And social security is the one Romney/Ryan want to go after.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Formerairman

      Two words: National security. You must understand that if you allow others to acquire a bigger stick than yours, then you run the risk of being dominated/destroyed in the next conflict. Would you want a us troop fighting a battle with a musket? We need our military to be the best. Do you want to become France or belgium or anyone else who relies on other nations for protection?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • John

      I think it's awesome! and for the people who's saying that it's not worth it then it seems like you don't like going forward with aerospace and aviation.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • citizenUSA

      The greatest country in the world needs to have the greatest technology. Yeah, let's let someone else get ahead of us.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
  10. bman

    I think it's a good thing the military is coming up on a haircut.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
  11. Joe Bloe

    The SR-71 (It was really the RS-71 but LBJ screwed the name up) remains the most advanced piloted vehicle created by man. The engineers of today do not have the moxie to improve upon it in a manner that will really work and be cost effective.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • michiganhockey11

      Would they be able to solve the issue of the leaking fuselage when it's not up to speed? It needed air friction/temp to stop the fuel leaks.

      Not a single SR-71 was ever shot down.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
      • BurstBubble

        Great comment guys!! The SR-71 is the fastest plane to fly, so fast they don't even have it's maximum speed listed. You guessed it, it is classified. I heard it leaked fuel from the wings upon take off, yet once it was airborne it stopped leaking.
        Not sure why they ever retired it?? Maybe they need new toys for the playground??

        August 14, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • shirodx

      Do you really think that the SR-71 (Or RS-71) is still the fastest piloted aircraft ever created by the Pentagon?
      Seriously??
      You've heard of black projects right? Whispers of tech they currently have or advancing.
      Maybe you should change that to "Fastest piloted aircraft they currently admit to having".

      August 14, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
  12. cole

    WOW!!!! this is incredible!!!! pretty wild, and you know if the public is allowed to get wind of this, it's far more in an advanced stage than this article is indicating !! I'm proud to be an American, we are still on the top!!!!!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • pgh

      Hope that makes you feel emotionally better the next time your commute carries you over a crumbling interstate bridge....

      August 14, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
  13. levend

    Hope people realize this is a weapon, it takes 1hour to fuel a intercontinental nuclear missile – This will be able to destroy it before its launched almost anywhere on the planet. Eventually other nations will have this technology too and guess what we won't be safe either.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
  14. michiganhockey11

    This isn't going to be for human transportation. It'll be for defense only. Even the pilots of the SR-71 Blackbird had to wear (basically) slimmed down astronaut suits and they could do coast to coast around 50min-1hr. And that was at supersonic, not hypersonic speeds. Until the earth becomes a united federation of planets, this will be military purposes only.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  15. Remmett70

    Definately some interesting possibilities for the technology if it. Defense wise would almost eliminate the threat of nuclear missle attack against the US because one of these would have the ability to overtake and knock out any incoming missile.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
  16. JohnRJohnson

    This is a weird article. The SR-71, which was designed and tested more than a half century ago, has flown from LA to Washington DC in 58 minutes. Whatever the Pentagon is testing now better be a lot faster than that.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • michiganhockey11

      It also did New York to London in 1hr 54min.

      "Mr. President, the termination of the SR-71 was a grave mistake and could place our nation at a serious disadvantage in the event of a future crisis. Yesterday's historic transcontinental flight was a sad memorial to our short-sighted policy in strategic aerial reconnaissance."
      —Senator John Glenn, 7 March 1990

      August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
  17. luke

    It continues to amaze me how the right wing screams bloody murder at the thought of spending money on the poor, sick and elderly – but when when the pentagon flushes billions down the toilet on stupid projects like this – they don't bat an eye – how about using technology to help people and better their lives instead of finding new ways to kill people faster?

    August 14, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • Chad

      Says who? I've seen many of my conservative friends upset with military spending. I lean more right with spending, in the years past the right had people who trimmed the budget. Sadly not so much now thanks to Bush and that type of Republican. True conservatives don't want our money being wasted in any way shape or form.

      Also, you've got the concept wrong about how the right feels about welfare. It's not that I don't want honest hard working Americans to get healthcare, food and basic needs met. I don't want LIFETIME lowlifes living on the system when they're perfectly able to work. I don't want the government forcing me to pay for the uninsured. But because I don't want those things, doesn't mean I want to waste tax money other places. Like bombs to blow up cities that we pay to rebuild months later.

      If it were up to me, we'd cut a lot of military spending, a lot of welfare spending and refocus on educating Americans. Cheaper college, better K-12 programs, specialty programs for kids who fall behind. America is lacking on education and the world is passing us up because of this. Meanwhile we're funding other nations governments and military programs while they're smart enough to spend their money on their own people.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
      • BobSC

        If there were more Republicans like yourself and Republicans who could compromise, the world would be a better place. I'm essentially Democrat leaning, but your ideas seem good to me.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • David

        I consider myself a centerist, but most would probably call me liberal. Anyway I agree with almost everything you said, however I will point out that with private health care you are already paying for the uninsured, its all factored into your monthly contributions. I happen to believe a true single payer system would be better then the current system, not perfect, but better. We should be treating health and medical treatment as a human right not a privilege for the middle and upper classes, this is what the government is for. I agree with those who argue government is inefficient, but this is a problem of this government, not necessarily all government.

        I does give me hope to see rational conversation, rather then a lot of hand waving and shouting.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • Rhubarb

        I'm convinced that America has fallen behind academically because so many kids simply don't want to put in the hard work necessary for success. And most importantly, their parents don't force them to sit down and do their homework at night, or at least be accountable for their results. The blatant absence of fathers in young families – especially Black families, of which 70% are single parent homes – really speaks to this.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:07 am |
      • mbsamps

        You are already paying for the uninsured.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Frank

      As they when people bash NASA for spending money on machines to go to a dead planet, well look at the advancement in technology, if it weren't for the military learning how to kill faster, we would not have the internet.,blah, blah......

      August 14, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
  18. tdabber

    I wonder how long it will take for this to be put to real use, military and commercial. As an aspiring pilot, I'm worried that pilots will become useless when they finally figure out the technology needed to produce these Waveriders and use them in commercial airlines.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • paul2313

      Don't worry. Myself and I am sure a huge majority would never fly in a plane without a human at the controls.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
      • BobSC

        Phew! I thought most flights these days used autopilot for transit and landing. Sure about those humans?

        August 14, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  19. Rhamatul Upabhutt

    By the time this is ready to fly passengers, no one will want to fly to Sharia Britain.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • lostisland

      The only thing that's going to ride one of these within the next 30 years is a warhead. And I'm guessing even the warhead is optional given the speed the thing can hit the ground at....

      August 14, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
  20. citizenUSA

    Wellllllllll, which is it? The homepage shows, "N.Y. to L.A. in under an hour" under the picture then in the body it say's" L. A. to London in less than an hour".

    August 14, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • In2ishun

      Los Angeles and London are equidistant to NYC. Probably makes the most sense to design and build this to travel both West and East...there may even be a version that can go North and South (we can dream). Maybe that's the point of giving two different examples in the headline. Of course, then you wouldn't have a gotcha moment, so maybe you are the Emporer and they are naked....

      August 14, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • citizenUSA

      In2ishun,

      Sorry but you're off by 2,989.08 miles.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • citizenUSA

      Allright! CNN fixed it. You're welcome.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
  21. sparky

    I like the clarity of the picture with this article, easily can see how this little puppy can achieve Mach 5. Beautiful stream-lined design. I wanted one until I saw the price for it. Freedom. Can't be free if I had one, I'd have to work like a slave every day, if I had one. And where would I park it. But OH!, it's the Bomb!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • Jolie

      You are trying too hard, and failing.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
  22. Kenny

    So after everyone acquires this "hypersonic" technology via sell/get stolen or hacked are we going to merge into a world Government? or is everyone going to be edgy because someone could be nuked in minutes? Humans will have to tame their barbaric nature at some point or go into destruction......Non-military use would be acceptable and build faster business trips plus more profits in a fast moving world.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
  23. Julian Assange

    BELLIGERENT America is always trying to develop new and more efective ways to MAKE WAR, KILL PEOPLE and STEAL resources...

    How great if it would be if America do behind TV cameras what they promisse in front of them!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
    • pgh

      Aw c'mon, it's all about Spreading Democracy, dontcha know....

      August 14, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • Lux

      now thats comedy

      August 14, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • citizenUSA

      Someone has to do it...

      August 14, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
  24. Wills

    We must share this technology with China and dear leader.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
    • Ha

      Dear leader is dead. Now we have a 'supreme' one.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • pgh

      Not to worry, they already stole it from us, probably like 20 years ago or something by now...

      August 14, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  25. JamDownWayne

    Same technology used by the Jamaican 4×100 relay team. 36.84 seconds!!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
  26. Daniel

    Starship Troopers (the book) comes to life; dropping marines from suborbital hypersonic pods. All that's missing now is the power armor.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
  27. Andrew

    Proof that the MIlitary is the Devil's Playground.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
  28. pgh

    Great, another way to kill innocent civilians abroad.... How many dangerous US bridges could this money have paved instead? How many potholes? How many uninsured cancer patients could've been given access to treatment? How many bike lanes could've been built to prevent more kids from getting fat?

    August 14, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • sh9350a

      Why do kids need bike lanes to prevent them from getting fat? They can't ride their bikes in a park? Go for a run? Walk? Play outside? Eat less? Stop playing video games 8 hours a day? These are all things that can be accomplished without the "goverment putting in bike lanes."

      August 14, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
      • pgh

        Why do politicians need wars to resolve cultural differences? Why can't they use better diplomacy? Why can't they spend more time learning and appreciating other cultures and their history? Why can't they accept that other people do not believe in their god? Why can't they spread knowledge or assist with disaster recovery without bullying? Why can't they collect information with prying into people's privacy or killing civilians?

        August 14, 2012 at 9:38 am |
      • comeonbro

        Please. Kids are getting fat because parents have been scared into keeping them in lockdown in their houses, and what else is there for them to do besides sit and play games, watch tv, eat junk food and get fat.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  29. Slygrinz

    We have a National Debt Problem of Epic Proportions and still.... the Pentagon Continues wasting Trillions...

    August 14, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • Lux

      LOL a waste???/ this has implications beyond the yahoo who wrote this article , think of space travel, these are the neccessary steps we must take.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • sh9350a

      trillions? A bit over dramatic aren't we? Imagine the implications for the business world if a businesswoman can get from New York City to Frankfurt, Germany in an hour...

      August 14, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • samm

      They have to use-up the money, otherwise they won't get the same budget next year ..

      August 14, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
  30. ranoa

    I'm gonna find that sucker after impact and take it to the Pawn Stars!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • melike-ee

      Sweet. I will help. You check the Pacific and I will check the Atlantic ....

      August 14, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
  31. jimmymax

    I don't know why they're bothering to call this a "vehicle". If it looks like a missile, flies like a missile...

    August 14, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • someone

      Then in the government it's a duck.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Jolie

      A 727 looks like a missile, sort of flies like a missile, but isn't a missile.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • Bigubu

      A missle is a vehicle. Have you ever heard of an SRV (Submersible Remote Vehicle)? It doesn't carry any one, it is a robotic vehicle that carries cameras and grasping tools and the like. This is a vehicle in the same sense.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Phunk

      At that kind of speed, wings aren't really necessary. So pretty much anything using this tech will look like a missile.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
  32. N. Peterson

    All this money used to develop weapons to kill people even faster....

    August 14, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • Lux

      yup aint it great?

      August 14, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Robert

      Totally agreed... men with their toys! Rediculous!

      August 14, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
  33. BinhT

    Looks like it will be launched from a RAIL. Therefore – according to teabagger logic – it will be a boondoggle and no one will ever ride it.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • Will

      TRAINS ARE FOR YANKYS AND LEFT COAST SISSIES DOWN SOUF (WHICH IS WHAT REALLY MATTERS BECAUSE WE'RE REAL MURKANS) WE DRIVE BIG OL' TRUCKS

      Why didn't we let these knuckle dragging cro magnons secede?

      August 14, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
      • Liz

        What? I live in the south and everyone I know has been begging for a high-speed rail or ANY kind of decent public transportation system for years. Since I was a child. Local politicians continue to ignore our pleas and reject funding for these projects because they can't get contracts for their buddies or make money off of it for themselves somehow. Your generalization is really off base.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  34. m

    "If all goes as planned, the flight Tuesday will end with a dive into the Pacific; there is no intent to recover the aircraft. The Air Force says the program was designed for each vehicle to be destroyed at the end of its flight test because of the cost that would be involved in recovering them. Data is fed back to evaluators during the test."

    – Our wasteful military. Sounds like a lot of failed tests in this article kinda like GM so if your car breaks down it's planned obsolescence. Guess they would not use this to rush medical supplies or food to anyplace in the world just bombs...U.S. Military tunnel vision, bombs away!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • Jolie

      Here's a plan, sending you to the bottom of the ocean to find it!

      August 14, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • Scientist

      You do realize that the majority of scientific advancement in the United States directly comes from military research, don't you? DARPA creates things that have a very low chance of success, but massive benefits if successful. I would love for you to find a humanitarian organization willing to spend money on new technology. The government creates these technologies, then everyone uses them. Do you think that the jet engine was created for commercial flight? No. Be grateful that we invest in the future, even if it is in the form of seemingly wasteful systems.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • Dragun

      Why is it people often forget that the majority of technology you use today came from the military. Yeah you know, things like radar to keep you plane from crashing, jet engines, microwaves, cell phones, LCD displays, computers, shall i go on?

      August 14, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • Jim

      Apparently it never occured to you that, just perhaps, someone did an actual cost-benefit analysis and actually determined (with numbers) that it's more efficient to NOT recover the test vehicle. It could be like deciding to recycle a strange bottle only to find that it costs $5/bottle to do so.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
  35. Phineas

    Platypus nosed aircraft ? Hmmmmmmm.....
    Hey, where's Perry?

    August 14, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • tomlasusa

      You sir (or Madam) are my hero today.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
  36. Mentallect

    That is very exciting. Technological achievements are exciting, not specifically due to military applications, but due to their commercial ones. I have always desired to be a scientific researcher. Sadly, I chose Business Finance.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • Ben Rich

      Hate to to break the bubble, but flying the public on this manner of craft will not happen in the lifetime of anyone alive today. They would have to suit-up like astronauts, the chances of catastrophic failure would be high and most people would not have the physical conditioning to endure it. The energy cost would be enormous, too. Like driving a Formula 1 car to the Seven Eleven.

      Read SkunkWorks, this is no different from the SST proposed back in the 80's by ignorant dreamers.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
      • spinnyrides

        Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for your ballsack.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:21 am |
      • Dragun

        spinnyrides......BEST REPLY EVER.....I had to alt+tab out of my browser because my boss heard me laughing so hard.....

        August 14, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  37. Carl

    Gee, I hope to fly first class on one of those things. That would be a hoot!

    August 14, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
  38. Mountainsboyca

    This is another waste of money. What good does this do for the average human being? Fast travel...send an email or video conference, cheaper and faster anyway.
    So far as this being a commercial endeavor, the only reason for it would be to get your beluga caviar to paris within an hour....mmm fresh.
    we all know the military cannot keep its secrets, so imagine a world where N. Korea, China, or even Iran get a hold of this tech. (we all know it would be only a matter of time, especially if this is commercial and not military).
    The only reason the military wants it is to deliver payloads (read Nukes) to somewhere faster. What difference is it to nuke a city in minutes vs. an hour or so?
    this money could have been used better – healthcare, food studies, housing. Someone said the money could have been used for grants. I believe that finding out why bread falls butter-side down would be a better use.
    Unless there is a clear benefit for the general human population, I don't see this as an advancement for man the costs outweigh the advantages here.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • JPoet

      I guess you don't use technology? You may be too young and don't know it was all invented by the Gov.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
      • blaster34

        I guess next you're going to say the government and Al Gore created the Internet, too funny. I guess the government also created Apple, HP, IBM, Microsoft, excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing

        August 14, 2012 at 9:04 am |
      • sh9350a

        umm... the government (not so much Al Gore) did create the internet. You should probably research it.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:25 am |
      • Jim

        The internet was created by DARPA you moron.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Dave

      ["They could use it to develop cruise missile-like weapons that could reach a target on the other side of the planet in minutes instead of hours]. Little scary that technology has advanced so far. If the capability is there, it's just a matter of time before our enemies have the same technology.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • sh9350a

      It amuses me that you say this... while using technology originally developed by the government. You should probably read more.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • brian

      Email and video are not always an option. There are a lot of times that you have to have feet on the ground to deal with a customer or issue, not to mention not all travel is business related. Shipping freight quickly saves companies and ultimately people money. Not to mention medicines. Getting needed medicines and essential medical equipment to a disaster or outbreak area is a big benefit of such a vehicle. Just because you can't imagine a commercial or human beneficial use for something doesn't mean there isn't one.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
  39. JPoet

    Another example of what the us gov can do at a fraction of the cost of what can be done by the private sector. The private sector wastes this much every second on failed projects run by incompetent executives who couldn't get a gov job..

    August 14, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • blaster34

      Ahhh, excuse me? Is it government employees designing, creating and building these crafts? He!! NO its not, this IS the private sector buiilding these aircraft, DARPA only conceives the ideas and farms out the work for designing and building. Its the hi-tech private aerospace corporations (read corporations) that implement and test these ideas and designs. What happened, couldn't get a job in the private sector and the government was the only agancy that would accept you?

      August 14, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
      • CanadianPOV

        You are falsely claiming that the air force is a private corporation.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • CanadianPOV

      You are 100% correct. If we left it to private enterprise we would have never made it to the moon and would still be trying to reach orbit.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
      • blaster34

        Guess you really don't understand the system do you. The Air Force builds nothing, nothing, understand. They contract to private aerospace corporations for ALL their equipment. Do you think the Air Force built the Saturn 5 or lunar module. Hey Canuk, Life is tough, even tougher when..........You really think th Air Force builds the B-2 Stealth bomber and other hi-tech aircraft and technology.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • cedaly1968

      I get what you mean JPoet, the U.S. government is taking risks where the private sector might not. The ability to monetize a project like this isn't very high. But, as the article states, the aircraft was built by Boeing, a private sector company.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • LR

      Wow. That is so backwards I don't even know where to start. Why would anyone in the private sector even want to work for the government? The only reason would be that the gov't has the massive funds needed to develop technologies like this. It isn't cheaper...it's the access. You think some company that brought us the $1000 hammer is more efficient than a company where result are required for survival would be more efficient?

      Holy cow!

      August 14, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • samikep

      Most of these projects are ran by government contractors (Private Sector) and most of those people working there were in the Public Sector at some point... Your point has no value...

      August 14, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • TRH

      You are kidding right?? The federal government has NEVER done anything as cheaply as the private sector. They have no reason to; it is not their money and they cannot be fired for wasting it. What planet are you from? Or do you work for the Feds?

      August 14, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
      • lostisland

        Ah, the $100 screwdriver argument. The thing is that the screwdriver might need to be made of an elaborate alloy in a non-standard size, and need built in torque measuring – and since it isn't being mfg'd in lots of a million it's a bit more expensive. I bet the (mini) inch/ounce torque wrench I used to adjust the read/write heads of the 10 mb disk drive of the MK88 Mod1 FCS I worked on fell into that category...Also note that the millions spent developing that hard drive took about 5 years to migrate into the PC world but it did indeed become mass produced and cheap. And it wouldn't have happened (nearly as soon) if NASA/GOV/DARPA whatever hadn't funded the expensive part of the research.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Dave

      Recommend seeing a Psychiatrist for dilusions. However, cuts in defense spending would undermind the advancement of such technology or worse yet, the technology would be sold to our adversaries. America companies are quick to sell to the highest bidder when money is involved for their CEO's.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • brian

      The point being that private enterprise can't fund these projects or bare the expense of a project being unsuccessful.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  40. John

    Damn, would I like to sit in on a DARPA meeting one day.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • Howard

      Without an advanced engineering degree, you'd probably think they were talking in a foreign language.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
  41. Caligastia

    They should be spending these billions on teleportation systems instead of aircraft. Teleporting humans and supplies, or even weapons from and to any spot on the planet. This technology is not just science fiction. Working teleportation systems can easily be achieved in the next three decades if we as a country begin seriously financing the research required. We need to do this today. The Chinese government will get there before us if we don't seriously begin the necessary funding, and soon.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • jon

      oh yeah? do tell me more about how you propose this is more than science fiction, i am very curious. AND SARCASTIC

      August 14, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • William

      problem being that for teleportation to be successful, one must be reduced to a subatomic level and then rebuilt – in essence, dying and then being brought back to life. I like to stay alive 100%, but that's just me.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
  42. Chris

    What's going on within the US...your suddenly awesome again. Just like I remember as a kid.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
    • JPoet

      You let the GOP convince you of the lie of private enterprise the great savior that couldn't get it up for a billion dollars. Everything the great rich are getting rich on was laid by my hands, all the hard engineering was done by me working for the gov at 45k a year, no, Zuckerburg gets to wrote a baby program, a baby computer program, that guy is no computer genius he couldn't write an algorithmic if his life depended on it, he hacks people's accounts and oh I forgot wrote the "like" button. BTW didn't the US bail out the banking industry, seems like Gov is smarter than the great bankers. We fear. Long live American, long love loyalty to this great country and all you libs and GOPers can go stuff it.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
      • SuperDave

        Boy, this is sick. Do you have any idea how much taxpayer dollars are spent for things like this? I cannot believe you think governemnt, who fails over and over again, can do things better than private industry. Private industry is much more efficient at getting things done. Its just that government has the endless pools of money in the form of taxes.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  43. forluvogreen

    Gee, al of this has been done with men in the X-15 back in the early sixties. I guess Obama just wants to re-prove that it can be done with a black president as leader while doing it AGAIN! More wasted money by this dumb administration!

    August 14, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
    • Reader

      Gee, I read the article and it said the program was conceived in 2004, long before BHO entered the White House. How did he have so much influence back then?

      August 14, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • Idiot Filter

      I wish there was an idiot filter on the internet. The X-15 was a rocket powered craft. This waverrider uses scram jet technology. From your post I completely understand you're not smart enough to understand the difference. Also, if you knew ANYTHING about it, you would know that the development of scram jet tech has been going on for MUCH longer than the past 3 years. The web's bandwidth isn't worth your thoughts.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Learn to read. The X-15 was rocket powered...it had to carry its own oxygen. The X-51A uses oxygen from the atmosphere. Slight difference there in capabilities since it doesn't have to carry LOX with it.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
    • SaltyBob

      This is military R&D moron keep your prejdice under you pale white sheet you make the stupids lood smart.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
    • midwstrngrl

      Your rigid ideology is killing your brain. Let it out of its tiny little box.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • hecep

      The program was started in the 1990's, and the resulting vehicle was designated as the X-51 in 2005. I could specifically point out how this counters your incredibly insipid and nonsensical remark, but I'd rather that you sweat out what for you would be a chronological head-scratcher.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • midwstrngrl

      You're

      August 14, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • Rawhide

      RACIST PIG!!! You just had to throw in the race card don't you. Idiot. I assume you are a republican. You should be happy. Republican are all about big military spending. You should be proud of Obama. Fool.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • Danny

      this project was started when Bush was in office and the money was allocated back then. So no new money was spent on this project hence the statement in the article that the money would run out at the end of this flight today.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • Mamaboats

      Don't you Republicans ever do anything but complain and show your dislike of people? This is a very cool thing...why can't you just be proud that Americans are doing this?

      August 14, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • Caveman

      I just love it when IDIOTS like yourself think that one man is responsible for everything in this country. My GOD.. are you REALLY THAT DUMB? .. I dare YOU to take his job and see you do better. You won't, because you don't have the brain or the balls.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
  44. Jack

    The US has already tested military assets with in access of Mach 20. This is being tested for potential commercial use. There are various reasons why the US does not need to retain military bases overseas anymore. This is one of them.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
    • shirodx

      I know. It's like this is just for show. Probably more aimed at the civilian sector.
      Just tech that they are about willing to release\admit to.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
  45. T

    New York to London in a hour ?
    Interesting.......wonder how it feels inside when you're going that fast ?
    Might be commonplace in the 2050s, go to work in London in the mornings and back home in NY or DC in the evening as your work-week. Yeah, baby !

    August 14, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
    • Mike

      That's a very practical comment T. We'll have none of that here! BEGONE! 😉

      August 14, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • coco

      It will take one hour to the aerodrome, two hours at security, one hour for flight, one hour for bags, and another hour to get to the office with traffic, conservatively.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
  46. Nav00

    Maybe they could use this to BRING OUR TROOPS HOME ?

    August 14, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
  47. Brian

    I just want to know where the brake is...

    August 14, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • brian

      the ground is the brakes.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
  48. Krepuskulo

    Can I buy one of those planes?

    August 14, 2012 at 8:31 am | Reply
  49. Sparky

    GUNS OR BUTTER ??? as one economist once said....

    August 14, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
  50. lolol

    send nukes faster: check !

    August 14, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • Henry

      Existing ICBM's fly at speeds exceeding 12,000 mph. This recent experiment has nothing to do with delivering nukes.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
  51. Dave

    ROFL. The SR-71 flew from New York to LA in under an hour on its FINAL flight back in the 90s, and it was developed back in the 60s. it had 15 stages of afterburner. please.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Close

      Last flight was LA to Washington in 1hr 7 mins.

      http://www.wvi.com/~sr71webmaster/srrcd~1.htm

      August 14, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • JohnRJohnson

      I just posted this comment 5 minutes ago. The SR-71 is a relic in terms of tech development, yet it flew from LA to Washington DC in 58 minutes about 20 years ago. And THAT was the publicly known time. My guess is that it has flown much faster than that. So I'm a little perplexed about this announcement. It was my understanding that we were developing a mach 10 aircraft. Perhaps, we are but this is all they're willing say publicly.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • James

      You compare this to the SR-71, but there are many differences. The SR-71 flew a at mach 3.2 (according to the declassified records). That is half the speed of this test vehicle. The SR-71 used ramjets to achieve these speeds and ramjets are ineffective at hypersonic speeds. The unmanned vehicle in this article is for research purposes.... I am sure its will only reach the top speed for a very short period of time (just as the x-1 only reached supersonic velocities for short periods), but it will still provide data. This vehicle uses scramjets and not ramjets.... ramjets slow the air that is passing through the engine to subsonic speeds. Scramjets have almost no moving parts and keep the air passing through the engines at supersonic speeds. Air moves over surfaces differently at supersonic speeds. Next, they want to learn about hypersonic speeds and how to design vehicles that can handle them. Engineers had to learn that planes required different designs to handle supersonic speeds because the air behaved differently at these speeds. Similarly engineers have learned that at hypersonic+ speeds new problems exist. Air becomes ionized at around mach 5... thus behaving as plasma and not the traditional gas state. Also, heat plays an even bigger issue than it did in sr-71... and that plane still got hot enough to expand as much as 6 inches at mach 3.2. Don't brush this off just because a retired (but still very impressive) plane was able to reach half this vehicle's speed.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
  52. Phil Schmidt

    You misquoted Han Solo. it goes . . . "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."

    August 14, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • YoNoMo

      Damn it......................beat me to it

      August 14, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
  53. NoN

    The fact that the prototypes keep failing prematurely indicates Boeing doesn't know what they're doing. The days of very expensive and lengthy cut-and-try development have long since passed. If they lack sufficient understanding of the physics and resulting aerodynamics to develop adequate simulation and modeling that is validated by test flight data, they haven't proved anything and they have no reasonable basis for declaring success. As usual, the Pentagon's approach is sky high expensive, wasteful, and not likely to lead to a working product anytime soon.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:24 am | Reply
    • Ariel

      I like NoN's post

      August 14, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Reader

      And the Wright Brothers crashed a few planes times too. Sure wished they'd stopped their foolish, wasteful research. And speaking of wasteful research, I sure wish the DOD had not developed the ARPANET which formed the backbone of teh current InterNet. Then we wouldn't see stupid posts like the above.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:53 am | Reply
      • NoN

        Please get real, the Wright brothers lived a 100 years ago! This is the 21st century. And the very very humble beginnings of the ARPANET was a trivial, overblown and nearly two decade effort from concept to demonstration of a fairly primitive network communications protocol using modems. People like you who keep harping on the the false myth that military necessity spawned the great technological advances of this world are demonstrating supreme ignorance of technology and the history of technology. The fact is that most military technology breakthroughs are/were very dependent on technology that was developed for the industrial/commercial sector in pursuit of profit in the marketplace, and not the other way around.

        August 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  54. letsgocaps8281952

    Great, a faster missile delivery system is exactly what this world needs, who needs time to think things over. Hope this is coming through in the sarcasm font.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • Meh

      Yep, and congress is working for the good of America

      August 14, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
  55. Bob B

    It's just what they need to waste our money on. 17 trillion and counting.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
  56. Ariel

    So... the tax payers paid 141 million dollars to launh a ramjet engine with steering controls on it.....? Why are they so behind the times. There is a reason the aviation indutry does not use ramjet engines.... (Concorde...sr71 blackbird) They are the gas guzzlers of the aviation industry. The 141 million should have been converted into a research grant to figure out how to make ramjet/pulse engines more efficient.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
    • Riptide

      Ariel.... they did research to make it "not a gas guzzler"... did you read the article????? It uses oxygen.... sigh..... nice try.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
      • Ariel

        You failed Junior high science? Oxygen is not a fuel, it is a catalyst. Further more.... THERE IS NO OXYGEN TANK IN THIS THING.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • TVE

      Ariel... it is a SCRAMJET not a RAMJET... combustion takes place at supersonic speeds. More efficient and can reach faster speeds than a ramjet.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:37 am | Reply
      • Ariel

        A SCRAMJET is a RAMJET hit the books buddy, there is no such thing as an oxygen only fuel, Oxygen causes somehting they throw into the mix to burn. They are not pumping oxygen into it, it is operating from atmosperic oxygen, there is no oxygen tank in this thing..... not practical. They are still burning FUEL. FUEL needs Oxygen to burn, and the oxygen they are using is in the atmosphere........ Nice try at trolling

        /adhominem witheld

        August 14, 2012 at 8:52 am |
      • TVE

        Ariel... with all due respect, you are wrong about a SCRAMJET being a RAMJET. In a vehicle traveling supersonic, for a ramjet the incoming air is slowed to subsonic speeds for combustion. In a scramjet, combustion takes place in the engine with supersonic air flow. There are pros/cons in using this technology - it is efficient at hi speeds, but one of the drawbacks is getting it off the ground at a deadstop (one of the reasons they are dropping it from an aircraft already in the air for this test). As for hitting the books... I am an aerospace engineer and pilot, so I will leave the trolling expertise to you!

        August 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
      • Ariel

        TVE now that we are actually having an insightful and curtious discusion, I have to agree and disagree with you on a few things. SCRAMJET and RAMJET engines both need to get to working order with the assistance of another source.. The key difference is what happens inside, a scramjet keeps the air moving at supersonic speed through the engine where as a ramjet slows it down and compresses it and then ignites it. The Oxygen comment was not directed towards you it was to the poster above who tought oxygen was a fuel. At the end of the day a SCRAMJET is a variant of the RAMJET. BOTH engines still need a significant amount of resoures to get them started. Now I wish they could make these test about sustaining these speeds and keeping the aircraft in tact instead of trying to do it 300 seonds at a time; at a cost of $141 million for 300 seconds of pure arogance.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:21 am |
      • Eddie

        Outstanding Response TVE. Sometimes I wonder if people actually understand the articles that they read.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:23 am |
      • TVE

        Ariel... I totally agree with your assessment and have argued for more meaningful tests and recovery of the vehicle to examine atmospheric impacts on the materials. As you pointed out earlier, a lot of this is actually old 1960s concepts - they are just using 21st century materials and computer sensors. This is not a game changing test or new technology, and unless we spend the money on new ideas, flying people from NY to London in 1 hour is decades away.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  57. Neal

    You will get there faster, but your your bags will still be 7 hours behind.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:57 am | Reply
  58. cacalips

    So Obama cancels space voyages but increases funding for placing missiles in london. Thanks Obama you SCAM

    August 14, 2012 at 7:55 am | Reply
    • TheZel

      Dude, President lost his line-item veto a while ago.. blame congress

      August 14, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
      • Howard

        He's not a leader or he could have controlled congress!

        August 14, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • scott

      Where did it say anything about placing missiles in London?

      August 14, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
    • ComeOnMan

      Dude -Bush cancelled the funding for the space program, not Obama. The program was winding down before Obama was elected into office. It's scary how uninformed people are about these things, because these are the same people expected to elect our leaders.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
      • cal

        s o ro s tro ll mus ilm ourtreach for nasa.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  59. justmeanddog

    A scramjet vehicle doesn’t need a warhead. It is the warhead. All you have to do is carve some notches in the nosecone.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:55 am | Reply
  60. Kissfan07

    Once it reaches ludicrous speed, I will be impressed.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:55 am | Reply
    • Ruben Foster

      They've gone to plaid!

      August 14, 2012 at 8:20 am | Reply
    • John

      I love the Space Balls reference.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
  61. Meh

    first we have it...then they steal it...then they have it....then they deliver missiles quickly also....Go Pentagon

    August 14, 2012 at 7:52 am | Reply
    • amgel

      that is exactly what i was thinking!!!!!! i believe they should keep this sort of thing secret-they should keep ALL USA projects, information, etc. in the USA-not put it out for all to see- we put everything we do on the news and "other" people know all our advancements– not very smart!

      August 14, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply
      • scott

        First off: the science about how to design a scramjet is ridiculously simple. We learned how to do it in our Aerodynamics classes (I'm an aerospace engineer). It is just a trick of geometry, how to get the shock waves to slow the air down enough to be usable without causing a pressure drop that will starve the engine. You can learn this from any off-the-shelf aerodynamics text and a semester of college-level calculus.

        The difficulty lies in the materials. DARPA's Falcon basically melted in mid-air because those speeds are horrifyingly hot. Granted, the Falcon was traveling at Mach 20, but the principles are the same. These exotic materials are not cheap, but overall, this entire project could be done by highschool students, provided they had the resources.

        Believing that this is some super secret idea is just ignorance. This kind of thing has had engineers the world over drooling for decades as we waited for the materials and technology to catch up with the theories.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |
      • humanbean

        Sometimes the best kind of weaponry is psychological. See, we used to supposedly have this thing called the Star Wars Project. A way that we could shoot down long range nuclear missiles from space...but we really didn't. The Soviets thought we did, and it brought them to the bargaining table when it came time for a nuclear treaty. If a potential enemy thinks that you have the ability to wipe them out in minutes, don't you think that it might keep them from doing anything in the first place?

        August 14, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  62. Leafy Sideburns

    of course, hyper speed is possible. A rose by any other name is a rose. Hyper speed, mach, warp speed. Whatever you call it. Actually, in the game of poker, just think of a sling shot in outer space with zero gravity, and, the eagle eye would multiply with speed and, knock the destination like bowling ball pins. Well, okay. Many theorize that conspiracies events are often. My theory is, before we even think about colonizing mars, we should consider consider colonizing the moon first and, make it a prime space ship building facility, a star ship base on the moon.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:42 am | Reply
    • Leafy Sideburns

      What's the most valuable re-source do the moon has to offer is the question to the air force commission.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
      • cal

        space industry. perfectly formed bearings that do not wear out.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Leafy Sideburns

      What's the most valuable re-source do the moon has to offer is the question to the air force commission and free thinker's tank.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
      • Manystylze

        Strategic positioning for one and experience on another planet/living in outterspace. Those 3 things are valuable resources in themselves as knowledge is a key and most valuable resource. It would make sense to get "pratice" on our own moon creating a small colony, especially since the space station is complete. The moon is close and could be the "training" facility. China is already stepping up their space program by exponential factors and we all know Germany and other powers are not sleeping at their desks. So why not start establishing a research colony on the moon and start studying and development there, that's the most logical step from the space station.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Afell

      Ice, mineral ores and a shallower gravity well. Where it may be short is organic compounds that are used for plastics, but those can be recombined as long as we have carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

      It also has the added advantage of being reasonably close to Earth (unlike Mars) that a rescue mission after a disaster would not be unthinkable. Think of it more like the bases we keep in Antarctica.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
  63. BloodNThunder

    High Speed Low Drag. Keepem coming.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:38 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Sounds like the late Kelly Johnson!!

      August 14, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
  64. blaster34

    I'm sure as soon as the data is in that, along with the technology, will be sold by obama to the Chinese for a break on solar energy panels.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
    • Manystylze

      I doubt it. The Chinese are the ones fishing the "test vehicles" out of the ocean and reverse engineering the technology since we're too lazy to retrieve our own prototypes and protect the "trade secrets". I doubt something that flies that fast is biodegradable.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:12 am | Reply
      • scott

        It doesn't need to be recovered. At those speeds, water is harder than steel. The testbeds most likely rip themselves apart and are useless to reverse-engineer.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:24 am |
      • Afell

        Most of the technology in the Scramjet is in materials research. How do you design heat and wear resistant materials that can survive Mach 20? The rest of the technology is tried and true.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  65. mjm

    Getting there at mach 6 is the easier parts. It's those darn sudden stops that get you..

    August 14, 2012 at 7:35 am | Reply
  66. R. Harris

    Wow, now our drones can bomb crap at mach 6!

    August 14, 2012 at 7:28 am | Reply
    • Richp

      The development of the scram-jet can also lower the cost of putting ships in orbit. if they can achieve mach20 on scram-jet it will reduce the penalty of carrying huge amounts of fuel to get there like with the shuttles and the newer generation of soup cans we are preparing to launch. However it will require on for sure an aerodynamic space vehicle to do it.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:56 am | Reply
  67. Neil

    Please help us save 5 jobs
    http://www.indiegogo.com/save-our-jobs
    Everything helps

    August 14, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply
  68. alexjune71

    OHH my god americans are rediscovering the warm water, the french just written off the same "science fiction" airship it was called the concorde match 3 and didnt work...too expensive, it will end up in a museum like the space shuttle.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:17 am | Reply
    • R. Harris

      Difference civil vs military. totally different applications. And of course it failed, just a 777 first class ticket is about 6k so anything faster would be unpractical.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:30 am | Reply
      • cashmeremafia

        Exactly – the goal is not to generate a profit

        August 14, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Johan S

      Yes God forbid America do something that the French failed to do. For example, defeat the Nazis?

      Also, so your premise is ridiculous. I would think technology has advanced slightly since the 60s.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • bob

      This is not a passenger jet. They were just doing a comparison.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:33 am | Reply
    • David M

      The French only seem to be successful at being unsuccessful. However, they are quite successful at being arrogant.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
  69. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Hopefully when we become civilized enough to achieve world peace, we won't need any more WMD's.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:14 am | Reply
    • bob

      it's not a weapon.........

      August 14, 2012 at 7:35 am | Reply
      • FFFFFFbOY

        You're right it is a weapon delivery vehicle. I don't see the difference...

        August 14, 2012 at 8:02 am |
      • Knotty Boy

        You're right. Its a delivery system for a weapon.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  70. DH

    Looking from a technological stand point this has some fantastic civilian applications. One thing is the ability to deliver emergency supplies and personnel around the globe in minutes after a disaster. If you look back through history many of our current civilian technologies had their genesis through military research or funding. I am not a big fan of our current military spending but I believe this is a mutual beneficial project and funding should continue.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
  71. ellid

    Quinjet, anyone?

    August 14, 2012 at 7:12 am | Reply
  72. Dave T

    Can we Americans unite for something we all agree on and that is our technical research and breakthroughs?
    We were the first to fly, put a man on the moon, develop the Internet, create better cancer drugs, place an aircraft on Mars and now this. What else can we develop if we Americans work together? This should be where our politics should talk about and not be about this cancer of hate..Hate is like a cancer, where it can metastasize even distant cell. You have no clue where it will show up. The more negative political ads will result in more of this cancer of hate to spread. Can both political parties please talk about the American ingenuity and its history. Like this story and others that we all can be proud of and unite no matter your political party or philosophy...

    August 14, 2012 at 7:10 am | Reply
    • bob

      politics divide. Vote non-partisan

      August 14, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
    • tim43

      Well said!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:39 am | Reply
  73. Jesus of Nazareth

    Creating ways to kill humans faster than ever! See you all soon!!

    August 14, 2012 at 7:09 am | Reply
    • GOD

      Son I told you not to warn them!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • Tic-Toc

      ..December 21st is fast approaching......

      August 14, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  74. Dave in Arizona

    Flying from New York to London in an hour sounds nice from a consumer point of view, but obviously there's one use and one use alone for this kind of speed: missiles.

    The typical human body wouldn't even be able to tolerate the intense acceleration and deceleration needed to peak at that speed in a New York to London flight. Or at the very least it wouldn't make for a very comfortable ride. It takes the SR-71 Blackbird a few states just to turn around and that only goes around mach 3.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:02 am | Reply
    • Johan S

      You fail at math and at logic. Astronauts routinely accelerate to speeds much faster than this and attain greater speeds. Last I checked, orbital speed is above Mach 20.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:28 am | Reply
    • billisfree

      Intense acceleration? By careful control of acceleration and de-acceleration it can be done. Our astronauts reach speeds of 18,000 mph in 8 minutes. Returning moon astronauts de-accelerate from 24,000 mph in minutes.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:38 am | Reply
      • mac

        isn't ,the diff rent's between air and no air (space), i would think ??

        August 14, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • bob

      not true. where did you hear that?

      August 14, 2012 at 7:39 am | Reply
  75. Pete

    " the service has spent $140 million on the Waverider system. The Air Force will not disclose the actual cost of the program."

    Kind of like how if you hover your cursor over a 2 GB file, all you see is "over 140 MB".

    August 14, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
  76. Jt_flyer

    This is very interesting technology. Occasionally the US taxpayers actually get something back from our defense investment. Considering we pay for 43% of all military expenses for the entire earth, that's a good thing.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
    • trek820

      I think youget baclka lot more than you may realize: both tangible and intangible. Your free to pursue "your happiness".

      August 14, 2012 at 7:11 am | Reply
      • Jt_flyer

        Really? so is Europe, Australian, Scandinavia and many, many, many, many, many other places. Get out of,the US for a week and see the world. Many places have as much ore more freedoms as we. And they dont have to pay for the rest of the world to get it. Open your mind and stip listening to the propaganda crap!!!!!!

        August 14, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Skeptimist

      So far, what we get back for $140mm is a super-duper bottle rocket. If it works as designed, it will go fast for 5 minutes and then go boom. And Boeing smiles.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:58 am | Reply
  77. Seems 2B a planned leak

    Are we letting Iran/China know that we can Hit them from around the world with a Missile Strike fin less minutes then they previously had calculated. Then they may want to change their strategy... especially with China and their radar missile station in those disputed islands..

    August 14, 2012 at 6:53 am | Reply
    • Richard Ritchey

      China has already conquered us as they basically have enslaved us with debt to them. Even now, if Iran would be insane enough to launch any substantial attack against us, the life of all Iranians could be minutes with our current capabilities.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:06 am | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Uh – China holds less than 10% of US debt. The largest holder of US debt, by an enormous margin, is...the US.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:21 am |
      • Bhawk1

        If we dont pay they going to court ahd have us evicted?

        August 14, 2012 at 7:40 am |
      • Wes

        You said the largest holder of debt is the US. More specifically the Social Security Administration, they hold around $3 Trillion in US Federal debt.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  78. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Too bad GWB ended the space shuttle program. Then again, under GWB alot of things ended for America.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:53 am | Reply
    • John

      GWB didn't end the shuttle program you troll, that waste of a life obama did.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
      • Jaybird

        ur both dumba**es the space shuttle program ended on its own merits so that we can take the next step in space flight

        August 14, 2012 at 7:31 am |
      • Nicholas Kunkel

        Get your facts straight this is science forum. Bush ended the shuttle program in 2003. Obama reauthorized 1 funding extension.

        http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Green-IT/Mandatory-Shuttle-Retirement-Wins-Temporary-Reprieve-655541/

        August 14, 2012 at 8:08 am |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        @John

        No, you're the one that's a waste of life. You need to read up on who signed the executive order to end the shuttle program. It was no one other than the right wing incompetent idiot, your beloved daddy GWB.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • SidAirfoil

      It is true Obama ended the shuttle program. But that's a GOOD thing. It's time for something newer and better, and both the government and the private sector are working on it now. The mistake was in waiting until AFTER the shuttle was cancelled to START developing a new system. ANd for that we can partly blame Bush (but not Obama), who had eight years to start a new program knowing full-well that the shuttle was on its last legs.

      Sid

      August 14, 2012 at 7:35 am | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        @ SidAirfoil

        President Obama didn't end the shuttle program. GWB signed an executive order in 2003 ending the shuttle program.

        August 14, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  79. S.M.

    Sounds like alien technology.
    I think Wernher Von Braun said it best himself. "We had help from them."

    August 14, 2012 at 6:50 am | Reply
    • Correction

      No what he said was:

      "Ve hat help frum zem..."

      August 14, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
  80. Ted T

    Smoke and mirrors folks! Anyone who doesn't think the US Military already has hypersonic capable vehicles (not to mention experimenting with anti-gravity propulsion systems) should dig a little deeper. I mean seriously?! The SR71 Blackbird (Mach 3 to 4) was developed in the early 60's – that's 50 years ago!!! Just look at the estimate of expenditure on this so called program so far – $140M. Peanuts when you consider previous Stealth technology development costs. This is just the government's way of pre-conditioning the public for when they are ready to reveal an existing secret technology in a few years or so.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:45 am | Reply
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      Peanuts u said, 140 mil spent on the program. How about lies & watermelons. $140 mil will be spent on this one test flight. This program has cost the tax payers hundeds billions of dollars. 140 mil sounds good but tax payers use just a lil common sense.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
      • Ted T

        Umm perhaps you might to re-read the article. The US has not acknowledged its spending however a 3rd party Military Analyst Group indicated $140M spent on the program – NOT this flight alone. Where are you getting your "hundreds of billions" spent on this program from? Can't seem to find that!

        August 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • I agree

      Think you are right. Knew someone who knew about these things and they said the same thing. If they allow us to know about it they already have it down pat and working on something new or have something even beyond what we are allowed to see. Pretty much has to work this way, cause once public the enemy knows too. A lot of money, but we have to stay on top of these things if we want to be known as a don't tread on me nation.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Getting above Mach 4 or 5 is enormously difficult; it's not a simple matter of stepping on the accelerator harder. All sorts of interesting physics come into play – enormous heat radiated by the compressed shock wave generates a plasma that instantly corrodes most materials, for instance – that aren't seen at lower speeds. Sorry, but your conspiracy theory – like all of them – pops readily when poked with reality.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
      • Ted T

        Not a conspiracy theory there dude! Dose of reality. Have you explored the US government's forays nto anti-grabity propulsion? Are you aware how it works (theoretically speaking of course). Creates a gravity well in front of the craft thereby negating the effects of friction. Again this has been explored for well on 50 years or more.
        Not saying its a reality but who knows what's really sitting on some of those Deep Black project books. BTW – SR71 was retired some 20 years ago – do you really think they've been just sitting back?
        Oh and please don't lump me in with the fake moon landing and all that crowd. On the contrary I am just a well read and open minded individual who happens to not be naive enough to accept all of these stories at face value. Learn to separate the wheat from the chaff

        August 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  81. Jack

    First off, if every bit of top secret technology was wired with explosives, the technology wouldn't fall into enemy hands as often as it does. Secondly, I believe they left off developing scram jet technology in the 1960's and the top speeds back then were in the 5 to 7 thousand mile per hour range. So what is the BFD?

    August 14, 2012 at 6:45 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      The big deal is being able to manage controlled flight above Mach 5, when the heat from the air compressed in front of the craft rises to the point where a plasma is generated that quickly corrodes what it envelopes.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply
  82. 66th Strategic Command & Operations Unit.

    The principle in advancement in technology is a stepping stone in the advancement in the military, If this test is successful the way the U.S military can fight and strike targets of importance in under an hour would have countries whom are hostile or willing to attack the U.S re-think about it. If a tactical nuclear device can be attached to that craft no matter how bold you are or how many soldiers you have it's going to make you think and there will be fear. If you hold a weapon at the head of a country or the world you clearly have a more options in negotiation with those who don't like to talk things out.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:43 am | Reply
    • Epidi

      Cold War tactics still apply. I grew up on SAC bases, lol. Woke up to sonic booms nearly every morning.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:47 am | Reply
  83. Epidi

    Something they dug out of the hangers at area 51.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
  84. gary

    waste-o-money! Budget is bloated and we waste money on this crap? AHHHHH!

    August 14, 2012 at 6:39 am | Reply
    • Matthew

      So...the government should avoid all scientific research? Yeah, that'll keep us on top....

      August 14, 2012 at 6:47 am | Reply
    • saychoss

      Yep, I bet you would have said the same thing when DARPA invented GPS and the internet (no it wasn't Gore). Just look at how the Internet and GPS have both dramatically changed our lives. No doubt, we should spend carefully on advanced research, but to stop it completely would be idiotic.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
    • John

      Better than redistributing tax money to trash on the streets.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply
      • Joe

        Amen, brudda! I'd rather redistribute my wealth to something that moves us forward than drags us down.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • I Love these stuffs

      I would rather see my tax money goes to something that make me feel safer for years to come instead of feeding the fat and lazies. Hell, them fat and lazies have more budget than the science. They don't just pack that aircraft with $140M then blow it up. They use that $140M to contract with companies for parts and obviously companies have workers like you which equivalent to creating jobs.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
    • gary

      this $ goes to rich engineers who have nothing else to do ... it is a waste or OUR money!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:43 am | Reply
      • I Love these stuffs

        Rich Engineers? I have never heard of such thing. And sciences/technologies to keep us on top is waste of money?

        August 14, 2012 at 7:58 am |
      • nsr019

        Developing a way to travel anywhere in the world in an hour would redefine how the military operates and how the market operates (not just in transporting goods but workers too). It would render obsolete the current concept of a country's sphere of influence.

        Just because these developments are generations away does not mean it's a waste for the U.S. to take the first step now. With that kind of short-sighted thinking, nobody would have developed the first novelty railway between towns or a glider that flew for just a few seconds, and it would take months or years to travel around the world today.

        August 14, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  85. AlaskaG

    All the hyperbole is ridiculous. Of course we need new technology, and this is pretty cool. Just because someone cares about the fact that our nation is not taking care of our sick and elderly as well as any other industrialized nation is not cause to pounce on liberals. A comment board with serious people rather than idealogues would benefit all.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:30 am | Reply
    • S.M.

      Sounds like alien technology.
      I think Wernher Von Braun said it best himself. "We had help from them."

      August 14, 2012 at 6:49 am | Reply
      • JR

        Or, like Barry said, 'You didn't do that, someone else made that happen'

        August 14, 2012 at 7:09 am |
  86. Tadpole

    When I read stories like these, I have a real tough time supporting the idea behind it. It is, for all practical purposes, a weapons platform that can deliver nuclear payloads across the world in record times without technically violating current ABM treaties. Very uncool in my opinion. Oh and if you want to reply to this to discuss it, I am happy to respond as well, although if you respond simply to project hostile remarks I will ignore you – so don't bother.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:06 am | Reply
    • PEDO BEAR

      You're point?

      August 14, 2012 at 6:30 am | Reply
      • BigB

        "You're point?" Did you mean "Your point"? I'm sorry, just one of my pet peeves, people who misuse "your & you're".

        August 14, 2012 at 6:43 am |
      • charlie

        your instead of you're = you are

        August 14, 2012 at 6:43 am |
      • lrn2english

        No Pedo, you're point, Bigb has our flank and I've got the rear. Now, who's on second?

        August 14, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • jvance

      I can't argue with your point about the weapons platform, but since honest to God manned spaceflight of any significance appears to be vanishingly distant the idea of investigating intraatmospheric improvement seems reasonable to me.
      Of course, the X-series of the late 1950s and early 1960s already broke this boundary. And since environment concerns 86-ed the SST, I do have to wonder what application this is intended for.
      Well, I have to go to work now, good comment. (I certainly understand your opinion about replies, I got called a bigoted troll yesterday in the middle of a perfectly reasonable exchange about religion and God.)

      August 14, 2012 at 6:50 am | Reply
    • John

      Up yours Tadpole....YOU SUCK!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • NoN

      Who could argue with you since you don't even know what an ABM treaty is.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
  87. Everett Wallace

    the pentagon knows NOTHING! where does the money come from it is a very dangerous thing to spend what does not belong to you united states.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:44 am | Reply
    • Sabally

      Here is what none of you hear know.. If this Pentagon is making this public, that means they have some that are far more sophisticated.. Unlike the GOP and DEMs the U.S military is not run by some crazy heads..

      August 14, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
  88. no_speeding_tickets

    And here the police tickets us for going 90 mph!

    August 14, 2012 at 5:34 am | Reply
  89. No one

    Is this defense and security, or offense and intimidation?

    August 14, 2012 at 4:53 am | Reply
    • eastcoast Mike

      Yes. The best defense is a strong offence....
      This is a game changer.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:43 am | Reply
      • eastcoast Mike

        offense

        August 14, 2012 at 5:48 am |
  90. Charles W. Skinner

    Prompt Global Strike is the next great leap forward in both military and civilian travel technology. This tech will allow for incredibly fast transit of goods and personnel in military theaters, which will restore a military edge to US Operations. Once the military dimensions of the use are fully fleshed out, civilian use in aircraft will replace the space left by the "Concord" jetliners that were forced into retirement. That speed will once again make it possible to have face-to-face meetings on different continents within reasonable time frames, and hyper-rapid movement of material and goods around the globe.

    August 14, 2012 at 4:53 am | Reply
    • Nathan W. (not this Nathan)

      I mean imagine being able to hold emergency UN meetings with leaders from all across the world meeting within an hour of notice. It would be amazing. There are so many possibilities. Not to mention technology like this, while not directly, improves our chances of galactic travel.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:58 am | Reply
      • JOHNYJOBoy

        You could us a telephone, it'd be a lot quicker to talk to UN members.

        August 14, 2012 at 6:43 am |
      • John

        It would be better if we imagined DISBANDING the UN and shooting them all execution style.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Everett Wallace

      do we really need a military in the united states, they are just a bunch of freeloading non combative individuals who's only way out was the military, what WAR has the military ever won just name one.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:47 am | Reply
      • Lou

        WW II comes to mind

        August 14, 2012 at 6:53 am |
      • Jason

        Vietnam was a military success. (look past the politics of it) We wiped out 80-90% of the NVA's capability to fight. Korea too we took out the North and held up with limited numbers against the Chinese.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:25 am |
      • Sheldon Parent

        If you cant stand behind our folks in the military, feel free to stand in front of them.....

        August 14, 2012 at 7:30 am |
  91. Person

    all the health care in the world doesnt do any good if the North Koreans spend their money on their military enough to challenge us.

    August 14, 2012 at 4:38 am | Reply
    • Stu

      What difference does the North Korens make if the backbone can't afford a living.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:55 am | Reply
    • Jason

      The only part of the North Korean army that is taken care of is their special forces. Their regular troops use the old human wave and are poorly trained and fed.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:27 am | Reply
  92. Susan

    So this is what we pay for first instead of the health and well being of the people that make up our country's backbone?

    August 14, 2012 at 4:34 am | Reply
    • Nathan

      Susan,
      Don't be so dense. We spend billions on "green" projects that yield no real benefit. The applications of this are multi-faceted. Until you get congress to stop putting earmarks in bills, STFU about any military spending. People like you would lead us straight into the arms of the Chinese military machine. Simpleton.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:42 am | Reply
      • Nathan W. (not this Nathan)

        He's right. You clearly don't know enough about politics to realize that spending money on the military is what keeps us safe. There are dozens of countries that would love us wiped off the map.

        Not to mention you should be happy, this is groundbreaking research. A lot of modern appliances and conveniences we use today have come from military research. I for one am proud that we are researching this, it could change the world if it is possible.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:53 am |
      • John

        She is really very stupid isn't she??

        August 14, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Charles W. Skinner

      Susan, have a care. Think of the THOUSANDS of jobs a program like this creates, providing both income and health-care for THOUSANDS of individuals via free enterprise. Oh, wait. Liberals hate free enterprise and jobs. They would rather have a nanny-state take from the successful and give to the whining masses who refuse to EARN support for themselves.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:56 am | Reply
      • Mike Ledton

        How exactly is a government funded military project a bastion of free enterprise?

        August 14, 2012 at 5:57 am |
      • Jeff Cox

        Mike,

        Do you realize how many products that we use in everyday life were initially developed for the DOD ... and are now being produced for commercial use?

        (Of course, a lot of them are putting Filipinos and Indonesians to work, but that's a different story ...)

        August 14, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Everett Wallace

      yep a waste, somebody pet project that they cried and beat their heads against the wall to get it done.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:49 am | Reply
      • Jason

        This project is very far from being a waste.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:29 am |
      • Jeff Cox

        So they designed an engine that can run off of oxygen pulled from the air? If they can turn that into a commercial jet within 10 or 15 years, then I would hardly think it's a waste!

        August 14, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • rjordan

      So we already have trillion dollar deficiets by our current Administration, and you want to add more to that ?

      August 14, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
      • Thomas

        Gotta keep the empire rollin'!

        August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am |
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