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, 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 (873 Responses)
  1. tez07

    Well.....we have to have something that will beat Usain Bolt

    August 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Jim M.

      Good one! Made me chuckle.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  2. disagreement

    I don't want more weapons O.K. We have enough active nukes to blow up the world several times. Lets put some money into sciences and medical research.

    Not everything is about killing the terrorists America. Not everything.

    August 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Major Tom


      August 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • rowena

        Well, it looks beautiful.looks like a manicured ladies finger...

        August 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Duane

      As much as I would like to agree, the reality is we need to be on top as China looks to supersede us in the military realm and will do so if we remain stagnant. They are already an economic power and if you do not believe they are fast becoming a military one as well you are remiss in that fact.
      Do I wish we could put more money into health and education? Heck yes. But the reality that we need to protect our land is needed as well.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        Take a look at the figures for China's money supply, energy output and manufacturing output. FInd out what has happened to China's shipbuilding industry. Find out how many unsold housing units are on the market in China. In a year or two, China might not appear so threatening. Their economic problems are accelerating, though it seems that few outside of economic circles see this trend. By late this year or early next China will be in serious trouble that the CCP will not be able to hide.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
      • Moses

        When has China or anyone threatened our land? No one is ever going to want to come and occupy us. Americans are a bunch of pansies. Our military is not defensive, its offensive. We're the attackers.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • Busted

        China can't get their lite rail to run correctly, we're concerned about Mach 6? Please, cut spending, lets balance the budgets.

        August 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Cheese Wonton

      This thing, if weaponized, won't carry a nuclear warhead. With the accuracy of modern weapons, nuclear warheads are no longer necessary for most missions. A rule of thumb in warfare is that the blast radius of a weapon needs to be equal to the Circular Error Probable, or CEP, a measure of it's accuracy. When unguided bombs and early ICBM's were all you had, CEP's were in the hundreds of meters and the only weapon with a blast radius of hundreds of meters were nuclear. Today, CEPS are down to the tens of meters or in some cases mere meters, so the blast radius doesn't need to be so big. Conventional warheads can do the job formerly requiring a nuclear warhead. Add a penetrator and guidance kit to a heavy conventional bomb and you can blow an enemy's ICBM silos. There are very few military reasons to cross the nuclear threshold any more, at least on the US side.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  3. Tadpole

    I find it uniquely odd that this is portrayed as something that people would be able to use for commercial travel, as it was, is, and as far as I'm aware, won't be used for that. There is nothing about this device that suggests that human beings or any living creature will be able to use it as a passenger. It is nothing more than a weapons platform that most likely will cost billions to develop and bennefit only those that hold stock in the company that is building it.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      So why don't you buy some stock?

      August 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • zooni

      Actually this looks like an engine with wings to me. The main issue is it travels to fast for modern airframes. Scale that down to 1/10 it's size add it to a jet and you have a turbo charger from hell. Realize they put rockets on large planes to shorten runway take offs and realize this is a technology between a jet engine and rocket engine technologies.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  4. tim

    Why are we building this as a platform for more weapons? This is insanity....

    August 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Because the side that gets the first shots off usually wins the engagement.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • Moses

        Germany did that and they lost...

        August 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  5. Olaf Big

    Hypersonic flight is cool, but the writer does not know his stuff. Technology to reach the other side of the planet in minutes instead of hours exists since early 1960's. It takes a ballistic missile about 30 min to travel from a silos in North Dakota to a target in the Urals.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • zooni

      Yes of course rockets are still the fastest engines, but they also are like 100 to 1 fuel to payload. Not exactly commercially viable. Rockets get speed by reaching thin atmospheres 100km up. No so good for a trip of only a few hundred miles but great for travelling around the glob. Scram engines are efficient addition to existing jets. Economical and very very fast in sub orbit.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Yes, but that's using a rocket. This uses a scramjet – an entirely different technology.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      The problem with using an ICBM class missile to deliver conventional munitions is one of mis-identifying the missile. Suppose the US launched an MX missile converted to carry one or more conventional warheads. This was seriously proposed some years ago. How would Russia and China be able to know the missile was not armed with nuclear warheads aimed at them? They could not until the warheads impacted, and as a result, it is highly likely they would launch their own nuclear tipped ICBMs at the US before the incoming warheads impacted. You could argue the Chinese and Russians could wait until they knew where the missiles were going to impact, assuming they were aimed at another country such as Iran, but if you were the Russian or Chinese leadership watching these missile's progress via satallite, would you want to wait or would you launch your own before you lost them? Fortunately, the US decided not to pursue conventional ICBMs.
      Something like a Waverider would not be so confused.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • zooni

        I don't see that as a valid argument. If the US wanted to launch missiles at Iran it could do it from ships and subs in the Mediterranean. There would be no confusion of where they are heading. ICBM are only used for intercontinental war (WW3). Scrams are limited range so would replace cruise missiles that are supersonic with hypersonic missiles. Russia and India are also creating Hypersonic missiles called the BrahMos-2.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        Zooni, the US or any other power with ballistic missile subs is never going to expose their position by launching their missiles, unless they are needed to counter a nuclear strike. It is one thing for attack subs to risk exposing their position by firing cruise missiles, but the positon of ballistic missile subs is never, ever, revealed. It is one thing for an adversary to think they might have located one in the ocean. They cannot be sure. But launch a missile and you remove all doubt.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        Btw Zoonie, when the MX missile was retired as a nuclear ICBM, there was indeed a serious proposal to keep some around for use as conventionaly armed missiles for a mission called "Prompt Global Strike". The proposal was canned for exactly the reasons I gave after the Russians and Chinese warned they could not be certain any such missile was not nuclear armed, implying they just might feel the need to lauch their own at the US. Pay attention to current events. This all happened towards the close of the Rumsfeld period at the DoD.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        Bramos, 3M54-E and 5M38 are all supersonic missiles using solid fuel ramjet technology. They are not hypersonic, and their performance is highly over rated. Keep in mind the US Navy bought a bunch of Russian made MA-71 air launched cruise missiles to use as targets for exercises and testing new weapons. They never came close to the published performance figures (much slower at sea level ) and could not do what the US Navy needed them to do. They were replaced with something called GQM-163A Coyote, also a solid fuel ramjet using ramjet technology from Aerojet of Sacramento, CA.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        Don't worry Chinaman. We destroy you at any cost. You like? Ok.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  6. Mike

    Will they still serve nuts?

    August 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • shahin

      More importantly: What if you have to go to the bathroom mid-flight?

      A tricky riddle indeed...

      August 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  7. William

    What makes this technology so valuable is not so much the shorter "time on target", but rather the ability to evade virtually any current countermeasures. This thing (and future weapons built using its technology) is literally faster than a speeding bullet. No surface-to-air missile (or even air-to-air missile for that matter) will be capable of catching it. No other fighter aircraft would have any hope of shooting it down. Its just too fast for any of that. Not to mention that by the time you see it on radar (if its even low enough to be seen) it will already be in a different time zone. It gives your opponent virtually zero reaction time.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
    • Sybaris

      Don't forget the kinetic energy it will unleash on impact. Who needs HE when you've got a ton of dumb metal slamming into your ship at Mach 6

      August 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
      • William

        Good point, although I imagine the initial focus will be on reusable fighter aircraft rather than self-contained weapons, due to the high costs involved. Eventually we might get to the point of using them as weapons directly, but I think that might take a while.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Cheese Wonton

      For now. Just as with stealth, if hypersonic technology is actually fielded in a weapon, in time there will be weapons able to counter it to some degree. Remember when the U-2 flew too high to be engaged by enemy missiles? That didn't last very long, did it?

      August 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • William

        Yeah, that's how the game is played. I imagine that the best countermeasure would be ground or aircraft based energy weapons (lasers or masers), which we also happen to be working on, due to their instantaneous "time on target".

        August 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        The Soviets used their Terra 3 laser to lase the Space Shuttle Challenger as a warning to the US over the Soviet fear the Space Shuttle was really an orbital nuclear bomber. It can be done but such sites as Terra 3 are huge and costly endeavors. I don't think any nation could build more than a very small number of these, and of course they instantly become high value targets that must be defended against attack.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        What sucks is that we don't just say "fudge ya" and take out these loser countries before they catch up. Why let them play catch up? Kill them while we are ahead. Kill them dead like bugs.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        The challenger disaster was leaking orings. Don't be naive, chinaman.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  8. Gail

    A child in fl needed an operation for a cancerous tumor but her father did not have insurance the operation was canceled
    The child died. She will never grow up, go to school, NEVER get to hug anyone she is gone forever. This could happened to your child but at their funeral make your you tell everyone how proud you are that you live in a country that spends so much on killing others.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Complete BS. No hospital can refuse to treat a payment, particularly for lack of ability to pay. Your point must be very, very weak indeed if you have to resort to fiction to make it.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • Gail

        They must stabilize you no more or less you should do a little reading regarding what hospitals are required to do

        August 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        He's another filthy chinaman. Making comment for his sticky rice. I f–ked his Chinese grandma and she loved every minute of it. I did it while wearing an American flag as a cape.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
      • SixDegrees

        "They must stabilize you no more or less you should do a little reading regarding what hospitals are required to do"

        You're lying again. Prove me wrong: what's the name of the girl and the hospital?

        Oh, right – neither exists.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        That wasn't me that time.. but that was hilarious..

        August 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
      • Tadpole

        I have to agree with Gail.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        Joe, in the US today all any hospital has to do for an indigent patient is stabilize them. They are not obliged to do more. It is routine in the US for people lacking health insurance to die of preventable diseases. Even those with insurance can use up their lifetime benefit due to a severe chronic ailement, and be left without access to medical care. Medical expenses not paid by insurance are also the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US. Even with health insurance, the co-pays and payments for treatments or drugs your insurance company refuses to pay for are often enough to put wipre people out financially and people into bankruptcy.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        Stabilizing people usually means saving their life. Word play I guess.

        So solly chinaman, you lose today. Go now, k bye bye

        August 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Joe dirt

      I'm proud that we keep garbage countries like China in check with our superior technology and more humane culture.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        I don't see US corporations as being any more humane than those in China. If you ever actually were in management at a big US corporation, you wouldn't be too smug about what the folks with the shirts and ties are capable of given the opportunity. What I saw FedEx Ground get away with was pretty bad, routinely abusing their package handlers and cheating them out of their hard earned pay, and FedEx are far from the worst out there.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        Really ? I saw a chinese kid get run over, and then backed up on to make sure it was dead.. and that was a traffic accident.. not a murder. dozens of witnesses walked by and said nor did anything.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        That was on the news a while back if you missed it. Chinese society is done. THeir culture is dead as a cold dead frog.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • testy1

      "a country that spends so much on killing others"

      Actually, it is rather cheap to kill others. Saving others, when the others have no money, is what costs. I save money to pay for MY health care. Why do I have to pay for your lack of foresight and intelligence?

      August 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
      • Dan

        In civilized society, we don't let people die on the streets. That means we take car of the indigent. Also, healthy people are WAY more productive in society. Is it fair? Maybe not so much. But it makes us a moral and productive society.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • testy1

        Dan – I have to disagree. It is not the "productive" ones that lack health insurance. They won't be any more productive after I pay for their health care.

        Obama is talking about all the people that will now have health care. 50% of these are teen-agers/young adults, that don't want health insurance. All I can say is "thanks"

        August 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • Sillygirl

        Sadly, testy1, sometimes foresight and intelligence have nothing to do with being unable to save/ pay for the proper medical care. Not many Americans can say with confidence that they could survive financially if they were diagnosed with cancer at this very moment. Having health insurance, and throwing some money in the bank when you can, is not always enough. Unless you are wealthy, it's not something that is easily overcome in this country.

        August 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Diana R

      To Gail: The real point of having advanced weapons is not just to kill others, but to prevent others from attacking our country and our allies, thereby saving their lives and ours. For instance: as an American, I would much rather have U.S. drone aircraft attacking our enemies in Pakistan or elsewhere, than have U.S. Army or USMC battalions locked in ground combat against those people. I would much rather have precision drone attacks than the carpet-bombing the US used in WWII and Viet Nam. And if I were an opponent of the U.S., knowing the reach and the lethality of American air power, manned and unmanned, would give me pause before I decided to attack the U.S.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • Ben Lachman

      People suffering shouldn't be a reason to stop scientific experiments. Remember the microscope, that was an investment that no one at the time saw any use for, and it contributed greatly to the quality of life.

      and about the story of the little girl...

      If that child was denied care that doctor should be arrested, if the father canceled the surgery he should be arrested. There are ways of people obtaining surgeries and medicines that are life saving. Cancer is a complex and varied disease, and everyone should be skeptical of stories about denied medical treatment leading to death. Either that story is fake, which I think it is made up, or there are other facts that have been withheld.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • SmellTheGlove

      @Gail... wow, your grammar was painful to read... I guess English isn't your native language?

      August 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
      • Sillygirl

        I agreed with the comment about her grammar >.<

        August 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Really you should consider this simple fact

      The US healthcare system was consumed by corporate greed some time ago. This is why healthcare costs are so high, it is a profitable money making operation. The next time you complain that some child died because she couldn't get insurance coverage you MIGHT want to steer that apathy towards any and all corporations and business connected to the healthcare and insurance agencies, who routinely pad the actual value of medical care to bolster their portfolios. They do not care about the welfare of some child.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • Sillygirl

        I couldn't have put it better myself. Boo.... all of them.

        August 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  9. saeed

    yea yea sure everything usa or britain or any white person builds thinks its better then everything everybody else has built.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • zooni

      Is your argument another country has built a faster aircraft and they are non Caucasian country? I believe China is creating some great technologies but I am unaware of any mach 4+ vehicles. Your post makes no sense..

      August 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
      • saeed

        yea sure why not the shahab missile goes at mach 6 7000km per hour or why not the df-41 goes at mach 40 somthing like 70000km per hour.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        the shahab, or shabib, or habeeb is a flying turd. It will only blow up in the faces of the people who launch it, like the old looney tunes cartoons πŸ™‚

        August 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • Orion Pax

        Saeed, a Missile is most definitely NOT an Aircraft.
        American X-15, worlds fastest manned aircraft at 4,520 mph, only 47 mph short of Mach 6.

        Please list a comparable manned aircraft from another nation.

        Thank you,
        The Management.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Knotty Boy

      Well, Shiek, do you have an example of Muslim Hypersonic technology – outside of how fast you can stone a woman to death or cut off some poor man's head?

      August 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
      • James

        Good One!

        August 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Joe dirt

      Better than Chinese junk. Or they wouldn't be copying everything they can get their greedy little hands on.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • saeed

        funny if the chinese stuff is junk then why dosent anybody buy a usa car none in europa or a nokia phone every body buys samsung or pc acer is bigger then dell the usa golden buy or tv or ships or almost everything else i can mention but i must say usa makes a nice mustang and dodge cars.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        Chinese cars are well known as the worst on earth and won't even pass import restrictions on death traps.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  10. beezy

    I am sure this is only as far as we have gotten on this. obama wanted it released, even tho it should still be classified, so he can say "look at me, look at what i accomplished" even tho it was President Bush who authorized the program. But when we perfect it obama will give it to the chinese and appologize that it took so long to get it to them. Not much longer America and we will be rid of obama. We are still on top but obama is trying to make sure we are not. Just a couple more months and obama will be done.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • CollegeEducated

      You are a classic example of what's wrong with us as a nation. This is an article about breathtaking technology and advances in propulsion, avionics,and aerodynamics that you are probably too dumb to even understand the existence of, so you compensate by drum-beating your own stupid political agenda.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      The only way Obama willl give this to the Chinese, is with a warhead attached to it.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • zooni

      That is just a dumb post. Scientist and engineers created the internet and every great new technology.. Are you under some primitive impression Bush or Obama are scientists or engineers. Great men of science create these technologies and the organized crime parties of the GOP or DEM simply use them. You are a fool.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • bofdc

      Obama says you're stalling the economy by taking off work to make such idiotic comments. Get back to work!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! Look at me looking into a special needs monkey on an aircraft carrier! look at me Osama Im on an aircraft and u r in a cave... look at me MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! 50,000+ wounded trooops! look at me Osama from your cave in Tora Bora.... look at me!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • JG

      Where do you see anything in this article about Obama? Where are you getting your theories from? I wish there was an IQ test required before people can post comments online.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Beezy, if you are familiar with how the USAF does things, then you would know that this is a classic tactic of theirs to intimidate America's military adversaries. They develope the most eye-watering new technology and then release just enough information about it to make other nations doubt their ability to ever get ahead of the US in terms of technology, while keeping the details, both good and bad, a very dark secret. Ask what you actually know about this thing. Not much. But just the idea that the USAF could put something in the air that can fly Mach 6 for any length of time is far beyond what any other nation can do right now, and all those other nations know this. Even with the details shrouded in secrecy, Russia and China will think twice about doing anything to really antagonize the US, beceause they just don't know if a hypersonic cruise missile is a few years or a few decades from production. Meanwhile, it forces them to expend huge amounts of wealth and man years of labor trying to catch up, if they can, or face humiliation when they cannot. It is cheap insurance against your adversaries doing anything really dangerous.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
      • Joe dirt

        Good. I hope it scares the hell out of Ching Chang Chong.

        August 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  11. Bob

    You misquoted Han Solo. That is all I care about in this article.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • LOL!

      !!!! Thank you !!!!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      The Falcon is a 'she' not an 'it'. And why would the Air Force take exception to be likened with the Falcon? They should be flattered.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • Orion Pax


        August 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  12. Efi

    And if anyone still doubts that "UFO" are all classified experimental human-made hi-tech aircraft, here is your answer.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  13. chuckhashman

    commercial travel is gonna be amazing –if they can make this work?? You can be anywhere in 2 hours-wow!! But if anything goes wrong its instant death which is a bummer??

    August 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • dale

      That those high speed you won't know anything about it, question begs to be asked if they do develop this for commercial how much will it cost today airline prices damn.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  14. sam

    Yea its a great advancement because it is initiated by a super power USA. Poor Iraqi people were showered with bombs and missiles only on a doubt that they had weapons of mass destruction. But we should praise this research as it is done by our beloved USA. The protectors of the planet...


    August 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • You

      Just shut your mouth.. if you're American, you'e a traitor. If you're not, then you're obviously jealous Americans have the possible ability to fly this fast. Is that deep enough for you?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • Joe dirt

        He's as American as Chairman Mao. He's Chinese..obviously.

        August 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Spudly

      Yeah, well if they would all stop strapping bombs to their women and children, or other inventive ways of terrorizing us, then we wouldn't have to do that now would we!!!

      August 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • testy1

        With those bombs they can go mach 4. Only problem is that the head goes mach 4 one way, the arms mach 4 another, and the torso, mach 4 another. More trials needed.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • ronkimmons

      Been destroyed yet?

      I guess the protectors of the planet aren't doing so badly.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • Logical1

        ronkimmons, Spudly and You – your toxic ignorance is why too many people still believe the lies. You choose an emotionally pleasing stance and perception over facing the truth. Read the real facts and you will see truth. Our nation is one that owns many great accomplishments and postive actions. However, it also owns dark and unforgivable events and choices as well. It is sad to see so many "riding on the coat-tails" of a winning team. So happy for you that you all get to live on the winning team. So sad to see so many self-deemed "moral" Americans screaming an eye for an eye. Pure ignorance. Wake up and employ overall truth and fact in your assessment and avoid so much cognitive dissonance. Then you might call yourself a true adult and patriot. The corruption is right in front of you everyday. But you choose to believe that our wars are being fought for freedoms. That sure makes the sacrifice seems worthy. I respect our soldiers for going to battle for what they believe in. Its unfortunate the what theyu fight for is securing private military industry with fat paychecks. That is some truth for you.

        August 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • Canada

        buddy actually has a point. America the great, had it's very first illegal war, I could see why you're sensitive on the issue.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • Sillygirl

        Logical1, I think you might see, if you look at it a little closer, that the posturing and smack talking that the aforementioned " toxically ignorant " are resorting to is due to fear. Men, especially, do this when they are feeling unsure about their stance on a subject. If they talk loud enough, and with enough conviction, maybe someone will believe them, and better yet, join in and "have their back"... It's truly a stronger individual who will go against the grain, knowing no one will take their side, especially when they are simply pointing out the truth....

        August 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Joe dirt

      This is one of the things that will save the world from Chinese tyranny. Get over it, you won't stop us by trying to talk us out of it. And if you want tp see it, it will be coming to a city near you.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  15. mooseantlers

    Personally, I find this technology 'interesting' and it has definite possibilities but still has a long was to go before being a feasible method of being reused. I would have to venture a guess that hitting mach 6 (or better) might only be achieved for a portion of it's flight unless it's on a 'one-way mission' . . like what's being tested now. I also wonder how good something like that would be for transporting humans. Maybe specially trained individuals could handle the g-forces involved, but I know, as an average human, don't think I could

    August 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      Do they reuse missiles? Think about it. This has a big target on it. Guess where it's going?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • testy1

      "I also wonder how good something like that would be for transporting humans."

      Hmmm, Space Shuttle – Mach what was it? Oh, somewhere around Mach 25.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  16. GovernmentIsTheBestComedy

    I don't think the target really cares if it is blown up 1HR from now or 3HR's. Our government must really hate some countries to invest all this money and human thought into receiving instant gratification from pressing the button. You know, I may not mind as much if we didn't have to go to every dump after we blow it up to rebuild it for them... kind of takes the threat out of a missle. "If you don't stop it, we are going to blow up your crap hole and then come back afterwards and help you build something a lot better!" But I digress.. make sure you put a camera on the front at least so we can resell the footage to CNN or something.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  17. Destry

    "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."


    August 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply

      1. Material cost of search and rescue ships to locate and acquire the vehicle from the sea
      2. Material cost of the numerous aerial vehicles for search and rescue to aid the sea ships
      3. Material cost of the radar and visual tracking devices
      4. Material cost of diverting and preventing all sea and air traffic from teh target splash down area.
      5. Man hour costs for the thousands of personnel onboard 1 and 2 and the manning of 3 and 4.

      It would cost way more to do the above then to just build a disposable test vehicle.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
      • Jonathan N

        No it wouldn't. I'm sorry but SCIENCE! IT WORKS BEECHES! They can do an approximation as to where the device would land assuming it functioned correctly. They can set up a tracking system in the rocket that pinpoints the device down to a meter. They can have a sat watching overhead with thermal sensors that can pinpoint a target down to a meter and with the heat coming off such a fast target would be highly visible from space in the ocean. The real question is time to recovery if it sinks and worse case if it breaks up which at the speed, pretty much a foregone conclusion.

        August 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
      • testy1

        EPIRB and parachute. $200

        August 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      What part of "It's more expensive to recover the spent craft than it is to build another one" are you having trouble with?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
      • Reemo

        It might be more expensive at first, but over time it would actually be a cost savings. Like when you buy a bag of disposable paper cups instead of a set of nice glass cups. Sure the paper cups are cheaper at first, and you don't have to wash them like you would with the glass cups. But, you gotta keep buying more paper cups each time you run out. After a couple of years, you've spent $100 on paper cups when you could have spent $50 on glass cups.

        August 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • Joe dirt

        These Chinese are filled with bad analogies. It's disposable just for you, so you can watch it melt before picking it up. The price, whatever it is, is well worth it. Just consider it priceless, and it puts a grin on my face, and that is priceless.

        August 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • Destry

        Oh im sorry, it must be so inconvienent for them to clean up after themselves. Can I use that excuse the next time I change my oil in my car, it was just to expensive to clean it up so I dupmed it in my driveway.

        What part of GFY are you having trouble with?...

        August 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  18. burnouttx

    I like the paragraph about other countries developing anti-stealth stuff. Makes me think of all those Defense contractors who can't secure their own networks to save their lives and yet we still pay them.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      The Russians and Chinese have some smart engineers. Don't underestimate them. Remember what a rude surprise the 2K12 Kub (NATO SA-6) was in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  19. C

    It is just a rocket, what is the big deal. We did the same thing manned in the 1950s.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • someone

      A rocket requires an oxidizer to be carried onboard. A scramjet gets its oxidizer from the air.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • dennis

      Rockets in the 1950's used liquid oxygen carried on board in tanks to advance the combustion of the propellant. The x-51 is an air breather. The aero dynamic principles are better on the x-51 and doesn't require as much power to reach mach 6. Rocket planes in the 1950's flew much higher up in the atmosphere to avoid drag (i.e.. 100,000-ft +). There is a big difference.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      It isn't a rocket; it's a scramjet. Entirely different technologies.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • adam l

      How dumb do you feel now?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Sean

      Did you even read the article? Or is your reading comprehension that low? It's not a rocket. There is little fuel required to run the scramjet being used to power the aircraft, using the oxygen in the air as the oxidizer.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  20. erik

    they can buid a friggin jet that goes mach 72 but they cant fix the potholes in my road.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply

      No, our technology is beyond the trivial task of fixing potholes. You want your pothole fixed? Here's a shovel and some tar. Now get to work!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • Simon

      It's because there is no money in fixing pot holes. There's a fortune to be made in creating them.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      There are no more potholes. They were all filled in while creating shovel-ready jobs.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      Potholes are an ongoing maintenance item for roads. They will always be there, somewhere, and they will always be filled in sometime.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  21. Tax Minder

    For all of our tax money they are using to kill people, why don't they at least throw us a bone through our auto industry and make cars or conversion car kits to use this efficient scramjet tech and cheap oxygen to power our cars? Once again, they have been bought out allowing the oil industry to gouge us while we choke down the road and then have to pay big medical bills for lung disease. Just another example that they really don't care. We could have had this long ago, but then the mega record oil profits would have not materialized for thier buddies. This country has been completely bought out and sold. Well, we have been ramjetted by a scramjet. Where's the "trickle down"? Thanks.

    "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".

    August 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Scramjets only work at supersonic and hypersonic velocities. They need conventional engines to boos them to that speed in the first place.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • burnouttx

      They did throw a bone to the auto industry.... the TARP funds. It's a for profit business. They won't develope somthing unless it makes big money with low/no risks.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • DR

      RE: To: Tax Minder

      "For all of our tax money they are using to kill people, why don't they at least throw us a bone through our auto industry and make cars or conversion car kits to use this efficient scramjet tech and cheap oxygen to power our cars? Once again, they have been bought out allowing the oil industry to gouge us while we choke down the road and then have to pay big medical bills for lung disease. Just another example that they really don't care. We could have had this long ago, but then the mega record oil profits would have not materialized for thier buddies. This country has been completely bought out and sold. Well, we have been ramjetted by a scramjet. Where's the "trickle down"? Thanks.

      "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". "

      ARE YOU INSANE TAX MINDER??? Putting a SCRAM-JET on a CAR??? You'd get your Ford Fiesta launched into obit! And it would use 10000Xs the fuel your "Fiesta" or whatever does now. It's LIKE a turbine engine, except WAY more complicated than you little peanut sized lib brain could fathom. Why don't you move on elsewhere and worry about something you can understand, like government handouts.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  22. Tim

    Flying saucers fly across the solar system in a few hours. I believe the majority of the "flight" is in the astral plane. That's why flying saucers are observed seemingly do the impossible and breaking the laws of physics. What you are seeing is merely an astral image.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply

      I think its time to "re-adjust" that foil hat of yours Tim. πŸ˜‰

      August 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  23. EastCoastSurfer

    I believe that if flown close enough to the ground, this aircraft could cause significant damage from the shockwave. Attaching a bomb would not be necessary....

    August 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • billybobo

      that would be some hella turbulence for the plane to fly through tho

      August 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
      • testy1

        Turbulence follows the aircraft when Super/hyper sonic.

        August 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  24. B

    I think that I recall President Eisenhower making a warning about all of this a long time ago.

    Beware of the : Military Industrial Complex

    It will never end folks as long as we consider War as a solution to the World’s problems.

    Social Evolution takes a very long time and we may never get there at the rate we are going..

    August 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      Yes and Thomas Jefferson said "The price of liberty is eternal vigilence." Which means vigilence against dog eating socipaths pretending to be American to try to disarm us from within.

      You catch my drift, Chinaman?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Diplomacy is only a solution when the powers with which you are diplomacizing actually cares about the well-being of the people they rule/lead. War, and military power, will always be necessary, because there will always be someone who wants more than the rest and who realises he can obtain it by force until such time as another person with equal or greater force comes along to challenge him. Peace is a noble goal, sought by many and ruined only by a few.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
      • Tyler

        Thank you, the most intelligent thing I have ever read on CNN comments.

        August 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  25. swohio

    They could build a plane that flew from New York to Tokyo is less than 5 minutes, and I still wouldn't get on it. I HATE flying.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  26. Sanchez

    Note To self....Too much of my Tax money being spent on useless toys for the military...while in the mean time millons are on welfare and unemployment.....millions more are without insurance and at risk of not having social security...Thank You Washington for spending our money unwisely...Hope you dont get re elected....

    August 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      They aren't useless!! They will be aimed at you hometown in China at some point. Count on it!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • billybobo

      people said the same thing about space travel and now our satellites are a huge asset to our country. you have to find a balance between practical costs and future technological advantages. if you spend all your money on welfare and such now, we'll be miles behind in the military than other countries and no longer be dominant which will hurt us ten times more than what is going on now. in the big picture this is a fantastic thing

      August 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • JDoellinger

      That is a really smart reply. Your tax money is going to this when it can be going to help the jobless. Lets flip this, lets eliminate the developement Programs in the US today .. do you not think the unemployment rate will go up. It takes workers to make these "toys".
      So lets all assume that Sanchez is the ONLY person in the World that still thinks the World is flat!!!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • testy1

      Let's spend MORE on welfare and unemployment and insurance and social security. That way, tomorrow we have even more on welfare, unemployment, without insurance and social security.

      Or invest in our future, and have something worthwhile when we are done.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  27. The Doctor

    The Scramjet intake will cause instability at hypersonic speeds...
    This design is not stable.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      I'm sure you know more than they do.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        Actually the configuration of the inlet on a ramjet or a scramjet is a critical feature. The speed of the airflow has to be reduced thousands of miles per hour from the inlet to the combustion chamber. Also, unlike conventional gas turbines and ramjets where combustion chamber airflow is subsonic, a scramjet attempts to control combustion in a supersonic airflow. This is not a trivial engineering exercise.
        Learn a little about the engineering behind these things. What the USAF is attempting is very difficult to do.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • Orion Pax

        Cheese, if its so unstable, why does it continue to work? πŸ™‚

        For that matter, why was the X-43A Scramjet such a success?
        Unmanned aircraft based on the same technology, that reached Mach 10. BooYah!

        August 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Havok

      Well you should probably let them know before they continue spending so much money on research and development...

      August 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • Orion Pax

      The real Doctor would know better...

      August 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  28. ken jones

    I think its strange-the thing that ended the X15 program was that velocities approaching MACH6 will cause the airframe of a vehicle to melt due to air resistance making travel at such speeds not practical regardless of a power plants ability to generate viable thrust easily.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • DontPretend

      And, to be more cynical about the whole thing, it will never have a practical place in the real commercial world. If it were perfected and pushed out to the public, it would be too expensive to be used in commercial travel...just like the Concorde.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
      • billybobo

        for now, yes. but cars and airliners used to be too expensive too, the price will drop with time

        August 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Joe dirt

      Obviously they got around that. Wasn't x15 1950s anyway?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply

      2 things Ken:
      1. The X15 program actually ended because the program was terminated following 199 test flights of the spaceplane. 5 X-15's were build and only 1 was lost (the 191st test flight on November 15, 1967 due to a hypersonic spin which was caused by a loss of flight control during the descent. 8 more successful flights occurred afterwards.

      2. You don't think the airframe (both material and technology) has vastly improved since the 1960's?!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
    • testy1

      Space Shuttle – Mach 25 – Aluminum frame – Doesn't melt.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  29. Robert

    Why won't they just focus their research on transporter technology that could beam someone anywhere in the world instantly? Far more useful, in my opinion.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • DontPretend

      Transporter technologies require a new understanding of quantum physics that simply doesn't exist right now. We will have to wait another 100 years or so until the next Einstein is born to get anywhere on that one.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • The Doctor

      The temperature at which phase transition would occur during transport would destroy any living thing in the beam.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
      • DontPretend

        And you also have to overcome the uncertainty principle of quantum physics. In order to reconstruct a being at the quantum level, you would have to know the precise location AND speed of the particles which make up the being. The uncertainty principle makes this very difficult.

        August 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • HR

        We just need to work out the kinks in our heisenberg compensator and we'll be fine.

        August 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Thor

      You are so ..... limited....

      August 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      Because this is far more useful in that it enables us to remain free enough to build the transporter stuff someday.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  30. reality check

    This technology is only good for missle defense so that the U.S. delivers ultimate destruction faster than the other guy. Jetliners can't economically be designed to withstand the forces that these speeds and accelerations would impose on wide-body airframes.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Todd

      In the path of progress the first thing we do is make sure it is possible. Then we begin to scale it up or down to meet the requirements we need for it. Ok for Concord II we can fit 50 people in it. Similar design but can only go Mach 4 vs. Mach 6. Ok not as good as the original but we are still moving faster.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  31. NUMMY

    Jeez...It always amazes me that so many "experts" know so little about what they absolutely have no understanding or knowledge of and say so little about what they don't know to begin with while attempting to appear knowledgeable as they spraying in every direction including on themselves. Blogness ignoramus as usual.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  32. GB

    New York to London? -Right. Only if New York wants to nuke London.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  33. Greg

    Interesting, but what happens if one hits a flock of birds at Mach 6 ?

    August 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • Thor

      ".... why is a rock like a bird, oh Master?"

      August 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Canada

      Now, are you talking about a African swallow or a European Swallow?

      August 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Birds at 50,000 feet?

      August 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  34. fedup2

    Why are you pretending an advanced cruise missile is some kind of transportation, and not just a faster delivery system for tactical nukes? This new version of an old weapon is obviously designed to fly to Iran in a couple of hours, not London. Stop trying to paint the Military Industrial Complex as scientific exploration.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • chris

      it is scientific exploration, regardless of the true intent.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • speck

      Ooooh, lookout! Another one of those smug basement dwellers is tossing out "military-industrial complex" to make themselves sound like they're in the know!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • Thor

      Oh so NOW you are afraid of a little nuclear war if WE (USA) delivers the potential? Of course, not so much if it is IRAN? You are an impossible POS!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • Canada

      Military advancment is commercial and humanity advancement. (nuclear bomb/nuclear energy, or how about the V2 rocket, was a ballistic missile, converted to them reach high earth orbit, started the space race)

      August 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  35. J Smith

    If you're going to quote Star Wars, at least get the quote right. "SHE may not look like much, but SHE's got it where it counts, kid."

    I pretty much stopped caring what was written after that. Do your homework, FFS.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • GB

      Nerd alert.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
      • tagabeach

        Funny comment DB!

        August 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  36. Mark0

    What is that mathmatical equation for:
    Arriving before you left?????

    August 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • GB

      You X -1 = oops.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Thor

      Distance divided by rate times negative one.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  37. JJ

    What AFSC do you have to have in the AF to weasel your way into working with this? lol

    August 14, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
  38. yeah yeah

    scram jet technology.....thats a still need a lift vehicle to deliver this thing to low level orbit.

    It's like the rotary engine.....yeah 3 moving parts...nice concept.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • funny

      You know its funny but true.. They are testing a "jet" with no wings.. kind of sounds like a euphemism for a missile!

      August 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        It has wings – they're in back, and they're very small. At hypersonic speeds, you don't need much surface area to provide lift and control.

        August 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        Pay attention next time you read something. It doesn't use wings for lift, it rides on the shock wave it creates from it's high speeds. Ergo the name, Waverider.

        August 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • mike johnson

      ..."People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." ...

      August 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      It will be a bigger laugh when it lands on you!

      August 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  39. tansyobryant

    how does it land?

    August 14, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
    • p36288

      this one is just for engine test, likely be used on missile, it won't land and will be dropped into the ocean. In the future, hypersonic transportation vehicles should be be reusable, similar with the aeroplane

      August 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • GB

      How does it land? Hopefully on the right target.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  40. BobZemko

    No matter how fast it will get to London, your bags will end up in Tulsa.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Lol, love it! Delta – Dont Expect Luggage To Arrive.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • JCB

      HAhahahahahahahahahaha...........EXCELLENT POINT!!! The only thing is though...there will be NO money left over to fix this TECHNOLOGY!! πŸ™‚

      August 14, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • Greg W


      I got a laugh out of that.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Jeff W

      Or, your luggage lands in London, you end up in Tulsa

      August 14, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • swisscottatge

      Best comment of the week – thanks for a good laugh

      August 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  41. baldwin4884

    So it takes 30 minutes to board, fly for one hour, the plane is so hot (like the SR-71), you can't touch it, and it take another 30 -60 minutes to go off, get your luggage, go thru customs.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • Jason S

      Don't forget the check in and screening in the beginning too.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      Your cars wheels are usually so hot you can't touch them. What does that matter? lol

      August 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  42. Bob

    Trust me, the Russians and Chinese have known or do know about this technology LOOOOOONG before we got this story today on CNN (obviously not at the level we own it or can achieve)...and to be quite honest, there's about a 99.9% chance that we've been flying +Mach-6 and above for a long time now. Typically when we hear these stories, we've had the technology HIGHLY classified for 20-30+ years, and why and how we stay ahead. The Predator Drone program was flying those unmanned vehicles beginning in 1981 (if not a few years earlier than that), but we as the public did not hear or know about it until 2007....try to wrap your head around that one, I can only imagine how truly advanced we are that we have absolutely NO clue's good to be American!

    August 14, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • yeah yeah

      This is America, and you have no right to know, your elected officials are bought by lobbyist money to support corrupt corporate thievery, you have the right to be used and abused like a Tuskegee or MK ultra experiment victim, and when it comes to light to use the excuse "it was for research of betterment"

      This is America where you can have your home and white picket fence so long as we have a camera right in your home, and if we can't have one in your home YET we're going to setup so many cameras around you that your going to feel like a Kardashian during a w hore athon.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
      • JCB

        WOW...a Kardashian W hore a thon........WHEN....WHERE...WHAT CHANNEL...WHAT TIME...DATE....I am definately NOT going to be on the TV THAT night........:-) That damn tunnel has been used more than the NY subways and the Md HOLLAND TUNNEL....!! πŸ™‚ Maybe it should be called the....SLIMEY CHUNNEL....yeah...thats it...the SC.....:-)

        August 14, 2012 at 11:35 am |
      • Joe dirt

        I doubt the Chinese know much about it. I be they'd love to. But they'll have to wait to see it in person.. as it lands.

        August 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • billybobo

        o come on man we pay a small price for having the country and freedom we have. go read about the nazis and soviet union if you really think your privacy is SO invaded here

        August 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Blah Blah Blah

        Are you talking about England...? The United States does not have cameras at every corner or block. England does have the camera system were the lollies are watching everyone at everytime.

        The problem here are that the US does not understant that the corrupt politicians do represent them, they represent the people who have voted them into office. The politics are a representative of the people in the area.

        August 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • p36288

      Even for the US's publical announced tech, Russia and China are having big problems to reallize. Not to mention those secret ones.But we are trying to catch up.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • Jason S

      I've seen a poster of military aircraft and spacecraft from the 1950's and they had what was called a scramjet on it capable of going mach 6. We've known about this for a long time too. Don't forget military technology is more advanced than civilian and the military has it years before we even hear about it.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
      • HZ

        Please... if they had this technology in the 1950s then why wasn't it used in battle in say Korea? Vietnam? If they had it in the 1950s the military would have made it public by the 1970s or early 80s. Secret weapons/aircraft are revealed within 10-20 years if not sooner. I grew up near Boeing in Seatte and saw stealth fighters and a stealth bomber long before they were common public knowledge. But yes, they kept them well hidden before they got to that point. Still, I'm sure other countries had lots of satellite photos of them.

        August 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
      • Captbeefheart

        HZ – There's a difference between knowing about a technology and being able to produce/use it Sometimes the technology to produce the technology doesn't exist, or materials capable of handling the tolerances and temperatures don't exist. Ideas, technology, manufacturing process and other obstacles aren't overcome instantly; they have to be discovered and evolve. A good example of this is the computer you're using right now.

        August 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Long Mahon

      I guess you're an expert but you're absolutely wrong about the predator program. Late 90s at best for operational test aircraft.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • Simon

      No, no one was flying Predator drone aircraft in 1981. Ramjets have been around since WWII, but no one has been flying around at Mach 6+ except the occasional astronaut.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  43. tony

    It's the true democracies that are the threat to American Capitalism form of world domination. The false ones, with real or effectively actual dictators or controlling families, we just buy. First strike nukes are weapons against the entire the civilian populations, not renegade governments or even their military forces.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Dr. Strangelove

      So it is a bomb and not a 18 wheeler. So long as you exist there will be a need for these kind of bombs and not commerical trucks.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Ted Ward

      First strike nukes, logically, would be used (since they are "first") against an enemy's ability to strike back at you after your first strike. So that would mean first strike weapons hit the enemy's nukes and take them out and possibly the top militaryand political decision makers and their communications systems. After that, a second strike would be on other military facilities that might resist an invasion and eventual occupation force. Using nukes against the general population in a first strike just wastes the advantage of being the first to strike and disable the enemy on unarmed people who can't hurt you. And in the end, who wants to invade and occupy a radioactive city or country for that matter?

      August 14, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
  44. JC

    While the technical details of the program should naturally remain a deep secret, I see nothing that needs to remain secretive in terms of the price tag. The public has a right to know how much is being spent. The Air Force, in particular, has much to answer and explain, as they have practically become a private company, instead of a branch of the military, going even so far as to run ads for the purpose of insuring political support for questionable systems!

    August 14, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • yeah yeah

      This is America, and you have no right to know, your elected officials are bought by lobbyist money to support corrupt corporate thievery, you have the right to be used and abused like a Tuskegee or MK ultra experiment victim, and when it comes to light to use the excuse "it was for research of betterment"

      This is America where you can have your home and white picket fence so long as we have a camera right in your home, and if we can't have one in your home YET we're going to setup so many cameras around you that your going to feel like a Kardashian during a w hore athon.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      If an adversary knows the true cost, they can use this to calculate the man years of engineering involved and in this way calculate the size of the effort. That is useful information the US naturually does not want to divulge. If you pay attention, you see the USAF letting out just enough information to intimidate some potential adversaries, which btw, is a very old tactic used by the USAF, while keeping the details a dark secret.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
  45. socalpimp

    This is science fiction...we cant even get reasonable gas or energy for our homes.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The word you are looking for is priority.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  46. jon

    We spend so much on our military that if we cutt military spending by 90% we would still be the #1 military spender in the world, and no one will try to invade us, with all the alliances and deals that benefit both sides we have, it would be really bad for the invaders, they would possibly lose allies and have deals cancelled, along with NATO basically putting a hit on them...

    August 14, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Sure. They'd just invade all the countries we've been providing a military for over the last 60+ years – like all of Europe, for example.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
      • GivemeShelter

        Exactly, Europe holds all the cash, Great Britain throws all the parties, and we provide security. Everybody else does the dishes.

        August 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  47. tony

    it's the pentagon/neo-con "We must conquer the whole world" by technology plan. Threaten to deliver massive first strike nukes to any even major nuclear power that doesn't bow to us, in just one hour, anywhere in the world, before they can get off a counter launch of the current MAD deterrent ICBM response.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Ted Ward

      Nothing new here, ballistic missiles have been 20 minutes flight from DC and Moscow for 60 years now. Mutual Assured Destruction is not just a neo-con pentagon thing...Stalin, Kruschev, Brezhnev, and Andropov seemed fond of it, too.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  48. -Phil

    Considering the SR71 was developed and flown in secret for 10 years before the public was made aware that we had a plane that could fly faster than mach 3, it's really exciting that we can be aware of these advancements as they occur.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      But there is still nothing in the public domain about they type of helicopter used in the Bin Laden raid. We saw photos of the tail rotor and tail boom, and know it is unlike anything publicly acknowledged, but beyond that there is speculation and some fanboi CGIs. One can only guess at what else is not acknowledged publicly.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
      • JCB

        I believe that if anyone wants more info...that if you do a background check on the cancelled COMMANCHE will find ALOT of information that is PERTINENT to the new stealth Helicopter...which actually isn;t new other than the technology being adapted to a Blackhawk...from what I have been able to acertain...which...afterall....really may just be a figment of my vast imagination of weapons and the military. probably has some info on it.....or just google...COMMANCHE

        August 14, 2012 at 11:12 am |
      • Cheese Wonton

        That is my point JCB. There is nothing publicly available about this helicopter. All we have is speculation. Yes the tail rotor resembles that of the cancelled Comanche, but we do not know if it came off a Blackhawk derivative, or something else. The Coast Guard uses French and Italian made helos in addition to the Blackhawk. Delta force for years used a derivative of the MD-530 Defender, the only unit in the US Army to operate that particular helicopter. The type of helo used in the Bin Laden raid remains unacknowledged.

        August 14, 2012 at 11:21 am |
      • JCB

        True is just speculation.........

        August 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  49. The day after tomorrow

    Great, now I won't even have time to make it home from the office to be with my family before the nukes start falling!

    August 14, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
  50. Rabbi Ashmedai Ben Hashatan

    The US should be banned from using this technology for any application in war. The US should also be forced to hand over the technology and one working version to Israel, China, And Russia. If the US is allowed to further develop it's military technology, world peace will forever be unachievable. The world needs to stand up against the US and it's military bullying.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Joe dirt


      You are one FUNNY Chinaman.

      Give me your wontons beatch!

      August 14, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • JCB

      WOW Rabbi.......I think you forgot to include an ARAB country to your list.......probably a dictatorship would be nice....and why would you leave out the NORKS? I thihk you may be..............................biased!! πŸ™‚

      August 14, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • Johm

      lol, to Israel? Because that's better...

      August 14, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • Smoke and Mirrors

      And you should be banned from whatever drugs you're taking.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • American64

        Actually he should be forced to share some of those drugs. He must have some good stuff to come up with this hair brain scheme.

        August 14, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • The truth

      Wrong! World peace will only be achieved when we live under one government. I would rather live under one like mine, than one like yours. We won't use large nuclear weapons, but we'll be able to shoot down any that come near us, and then we'll use nutron bombs to surgically cut off the snakes head. It's sad that it has to happen that way, but in your heart you know I'm right.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • Ching Chang China Balls

        So it's better to live under a government regime that arranges to have those who voice their opposition run over by strucks and then staged to look like an accident? Or imprisoned? It's a shame your government censors all the abuses they proliferate against their own people, or maybe you would have a different opinion about your glorious leadership.

        August 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Orion Pax

      Yeah, good luck trying to enforce that one.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  51. some guy

    i have a feeling that this technology will be available with local law enforcement by 2019-2020. Thereby, decreasing SWAT team response times.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Considering the technical hurdles involved in hypersonic flight we will be in the old folks home before this technology is operational.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • Joe dirt

        I'd say China will be a Democracy, or this will get used on them.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • JCB

      HMMMMmmmmm Ya I never thought of that! πŸ™‚

      August 14, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
  52. p36288

    Numerous engineers around the world are paying close attention to the US hypersonic research, especially each flight experiment. Although there are quite many obstacles to be overcome in hypersonic gas dynamics, supersonic combustion, advanced materials, guidance and control system, etc., many countries including China, Russia, Australia, and several EU countries are paying a lot to continue this kind of research, due to its apparently extreme importance in the next generation’s defense and business transportation. The US have made many great achievements especially in recent years, and is far way ahead, which is benefit from their continuous studying in the past half century. You Americans should be proud of this.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      This is as much an exercise in intimidation as it is an exercise in scientific research. The program is made public, and only barely, so the adversaries of the US are made aware the USAF can do something they cannot, and in the process force them to spend countless man years and dollars, yuan, rubles or whathaveyou to catch up, if they can, or suffer the embarassment of not being able to catch up. Of course, there is valid scientific research going on here, but there is also a bit of one-upsmanship and a bit of intimidation mixed into the equation. If your enemies know they can't do what the USAF does, they will think twice about doing something that might lead to a conflict. In a way, it is cheap insurance.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
      • JCB

        Hey Cheese

        I like.......your way of thinking.......:-)

        August 14, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • loverpoint

      Thats right pat them on the back tell them what a great job they are doing and then once those PROUD AMERICANS have dumped TRILLIONS of dollars of taxpayer money into this project we hand over the technology and the jobs they create to CHINA, CHINA grins, pats the Americans on the back and says: Remember to vote for out good will ambassador Willard Romney, he loves to keep the Chinese fat, happy, and employed at USA citizens expense.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
      • JCB

        Obviously you have been paying attention, as most citizens have NOT! We have been doing this since the late 80's ...maybe....but early 90's DEFINATELY!! I mean.....the only way they have been able to launch space missions, sagellites, CARRIER because of the technology OUR government allowed to be transferred to them, I guess on a belief of good will. But...and I may be wrong about this...I am not sure GOOD WILL figures into any communist ideology? Oh....we could have been wanting to help their economy...... πŸ™‚ Like NAFTA...which COMPENSATED U.S. companies for sending our manufacturing jobs overseas...but which MOST americans to this day do not realize....its sad really.....we just seem to give S__T away and don't even care about the long term consequences, as long as our politicians seem to get short term gains from them....sad....makes me ANGRY many of our men have died or are compromised due to this mind set?

        August 14, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  53. Walt

    Would be a real breakthrough if it works. The problem with testing scramjet technology is that it's impossible to build a wind tunnel that can simulate speeds of Mach 6....which makes development of these vehicles exponentially more expensive than conventional aircraft.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      It works, the trouble is keeping it stable. 2 degrees of accidental nose up and you can rip the airframe to shreds in a matter of less than a millisecond.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
      • JCB

        Hey Easy

        Good Point..and I am NO engineer, but actually, I would think that at THOSE speeds, it could alot less than even 2% deviation.....but either way.....that is a MAJOR HURDLE........getting up to speed has never been problem, for us and for most others in reality....

        August 14, 2012 at 11:46 am |
      • SilentBoy741

        That's the same excuse my wife made for knocking over the mailbox.

        August 14, 2012 at 11:50 am |
      • JCB

        To SILENTBOY741

        Now...whats the issue with your wife....getting UP TO SPEED......:-) or staying there πŸ™‚ ? I...I...I AM SOOOOOOooo CONFUSED about this...... I can get up to speed ( well...I USED to be able to....but staying that IS A PROBLEM......:-) for me nowadays issues.....:-( It is just so....TERRIBLE.....Not even a pee H__D_N any more........wah....wah.........wahhhhhhhhhh...wahhhhhh.....thats why I spend so MUCH time on the INTERNET!!! πŸ™‚

        August 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • JCB

        WOW.....if you look at it from that stay ahead of our adversaries...CHINE being the main one ritght now...with RUSSIA either tied or right behind them....

        To get the technology to stay ahead of them....we are being funded by........THE CHINESE to stay ahead of THEM!!!

        Hmmmmmmmmm talk about C R E A T I V E F I N A N CI N G...... that does kind of blow the mind...!! πŸ™‚

        OK OK....that is my LAST COMMENT of the day for now......:-)

        August 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  54. trayvon47

    it's sad the military can afford to just throw money away like this but NASA has no funds for anything anymore. I can't help but think nasa could have done a better job with this and would have learned more. They need to refund nasa and cut military funding. Everyone knows america will not be getting in a big conventional war again. Nasa will be more important in the future then throwing money at the military. Why not throw some military money at NASA and see what they can come up with. I bet they would really make a difference in future warfare.

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

      Haha! Says the jealous Chinaman! Someday I hope this is used on you...

      August 14, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
      • Vash

        Hey idiot, how do you know he's chinese?

        August 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • Joe dirt

        Because it's obvious. It's obvious that you are too. I wont' give away my secret so you can adapt. Live with me.. I'll be here.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Joe dirt

      We will reduce military spending AFTER China becomes a democracy. Sometimes you need to slap stupid countries around a little.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • loverpoint

      Maybe not what we deem conventional. Instead the US will handover the technology to China who will in turn hand it over to one of its evil step children N.Korea or Iran and when it is handed over to Iran they will in turn hand it over to Al Qaeda since they have plenty of TERRORIST TEST/ CRASH PILOTS and once they launch a few thousand of these SCRAM JETS at USA cities the terrorized American public will come begging and throwing money at the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX to protect them.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        What laughable nonsense. The USAF guards the details of that program very carefully.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • Joe dirt

        The only way we will hand this over to China is with a warhead attached to it and it is going at mach 6.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • Joe dirt

        Another Chinaman trying to talk us out of being better than they are.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:54 am |
      • Cheese Wonton

        What I will say is that any technology leakage to China is through the Israelis, and not the USAF. Israel dearly wants to prevent the Chinese from selling Israel's regional enemies such as Iran or Saudi Arabia her latest generation of weapons. But, the one and only thing the Israelis have that the Chinese value is US military technology, so US technology gets packaged into notionally "Israeli" systems and sold to China, and for a handsome profit at that. Before you scoff at this, consider that Israel is China's second largest foreign arms supplier, after Russia.

        August 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
      • JCB you read CHEESE's viewpoint on this...and think about how MUCH the J-series Chinese fighter jets resemble the Israili LAVI...which was mostly built with US FUNDS and based on an upgraded and improved F-16, and do your research on really does make you think...or....stick your head in the sand and be in DA NILE....errr....not the river though....excuse typo's....low battery on keyboard and don't always correct b4 uploading..but...English class was not a strong point but I was GOOD at spelaling...:-)

        August 14, 2012 at 11:29 am |
      • Orion Pax

        F-16's are old technology.
        We don't share the very best stuff, even with our allies. πŸ™‚

        August 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Graymater

      Yes, "Everyone knows america will not be getting in a big conventional war again", because we've "wasted" our money on these types of technologies and would kick any adversaries ars.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Johm

      They aren't throwing anything away. Do you not think NASA will be able to mooch off this research? People have been talking about Scramjet powered space craft for years. Think about a shuttle that can fly itself to LEO and then come back and land without the giant fuel tanks and boosters. Maybe just 1 small booster to get it up to speed.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
  55. Eric

    While this is an impressive feat, it has already been accomplished! The x-15 carried men like Niel Armstrong (yes, that Niel Armstrong) at speeds over mach 6 decades ago. It's still cool though.

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

      X-15 wasn't a scramjet, though. The scramjet is better than a rocket because it doesn't need nearly as much fuel and has no moving it's much, much cheaper.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
      • Eric

        Oh I agree, scramjets are really really cool. I'm completely in favor of their development. The article is more about the whole mach 6 thing and not so much about the scramjet.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  56. southern_gent_from_mississippi

    Another project funded by our creditors (China). Were getting close to the point where runaway military spending led to the breakup of the former U.S.S.R. I guess were next...

    August 14, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • loverpoint

      Funded by US taxpayers, given to China for free, Americans have funded Trillions of dollars for technology research and guess what, all it takes if a few thousand dollars to bribe some general or office clerk. Americans will sell their soul for a few hundred bucks or 15 minutes of fame like Bradley Manning.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
      • Orion Pax

        So then, show us China's comparable scramjet...

        August 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Joe dirt

      China isn't our creditor.. they are our slave labor factory. Which can be moved..

      They can buy our bonds if they want. It's a good investment.. but htey don't own much overall.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      The USSR failed because communism is retarded and is unsustainable.

      Capitalism is forever sustainable. The economic down turns are a result of not tariffing China sufficiently.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  57. lol

    Sorry, before the typo police get me, I meant accept...not the band either. lol

    August 14, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
  58. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    Ah, look!

    It's new neu V2!

    August 14, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
  59. hog

    waste of time and money

    August 14, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      You mothier and I both agree on really have been.

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

      You're using US Military tech to post that ignorant comment.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • ROW

      The rest of world wonders wonders who the next target is for the oil hungry states of america....

      August 14, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
  60. PudninTane

    I don't think it's going to be used for planes or anything anytime soon. This is primarily for developing maneuverable reentry vehicles, probably for global strike.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      And for putting microsats in LEO. And for intercept and interdiction. And reconnaisance. This thing has a TON of potentially useful roles.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
      • PudninTane

        Not high enough for LEO. Maybe recon, but there's cheaper and more reliable ways to do that. Possibly for intercept, though again it'd be a pretty expensive way to do it. Pretty sure maneuverable reentry vehicles are what they're looking at.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • loverpoint

      Al Qaeda has already ordered 100 of these vehicles from Boeing.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
      • Orion Pax

        Thats completely moronic.

        August 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  61. JasonP

    How does this thing avoid other air traffic during this continental flight?

    August 14, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      It's over the Pacific. A broad area will be cleared of air traffic beforehand, should any be scheduled.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      Uh, that's why it is flying over the Pacific Ocean. Or do you consider that to be a continent as well?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
      • floatingdebris

        With as much trash floating in our oceans a person could tie it all together and make a new continent.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:36 am |
      • Easy E

        If you think steel and Aluminum floats, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya for cheap.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
      • Think again

        Wrap your neocon brain around this and just imagine 100 million tons of it

        August 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Ah, poor Jason. Reading IS fundamental. You are destined to become a fast food employee for life.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • Stephen

      Flies higher than conventional aircraft probably.

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

      They don't because it will land in the Pacific. Most flights do a grand circle flight route so I'm sure this flight is well away from them.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
  62. tfredrich2

    This article is a clear example of why the United States should seriously consider down sizing their military to about 50%. They spend billions to trillions of dollars on useless stuff when that money could be better used to improve conditions within the economy. Instead, the logic is to build bigger, faster, and more powerful weapons....and at 140 million a pop.....that seems like Washington is saying "that's chump change to us." This country and world are so screwed. If people honestly think we can go on living like this, just wait.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      If you think allowing the rest of the world to pass us by in military capability is a bright idea, you might want to consider what happened to Poland in WWII. Mowed down by both Germany and Russia, because they had the same bright ideas as you about taking things easy...

      August 14, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
      • MrApplesauce

        Yes, because the Chinese and Russians are almost to perfecting invisibility technology so we won't see them massing for an invasion on one of our coasts or Alaska.

        August 14, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • KB

      $140 Million as far as we know...the Air Force wouldn't disclose the full amount of the program which is probably double (at least) of this one particular assignment.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
      • KB

        Not to mention 140 Million for a 300 second test, with no recovery of equipment...Very wasteful.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • NB

      Umm, you're currently using Darpa technology right now to post that. Thank them for the internet. Also other advances of flight in the past came from US Military. Dont be so ignorant.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      If you little whiny Delta Minuses had been around in the 1950's and 1960's you would have been jumping off bridges by the score if you knew how much was spent perfecting rocket based lift capability. Real scientific and technological advance doesn't come cheap. You aren't speaking Russian or German thanks to the fact that we DID spend all that money on "wasteful" defense programs.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • KayD

      We are investing millions of dollars to research an amazing technology for military use rather than commercial use. Bravo America!

      August 14, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
      • NB

        Enjoying your US Military internet technology? You're so ignorant..

        August 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Easy E

      Oh you turkeys never case to amaze. I guess all those "stupid rockets" the DoD developed in the 50's and 60's can only be used for war. Oh, wait, didn't we just send another rover to Mars. Hmm, I guess you failed to see that on cable TV, which uses an array of 100's of geosynchronous orbit satellites..wonder how those got up there? Meanwhile, you continue to belch incessant whines over the ARPANET, yet another "stupid" use of taxpayer money. Yep, all this military research is just dumb!

      August 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
  63. Pete

    The shuttle got up to over 17, 000 mph so this isn't for speed records. It is a practical application that will eventually be reusable and (hopefully) eventually cost effective. There would be less moving parts for maintenance and other than getting it initially into the air–lots less fuel. This model is a mock-up of the technology required and the aerospace industry can build on what is learned from the tests.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • loverpoint

      Just another piece of Taxpayer funded technology to hand over to China. Something that has cost over the years, billions of dollars will be given to China for free. There probably isn't anything that is considered TOP SECRET anymore since the supposed cold war is over. So if we are willing to hand over all our military secrets, why do we care if Iran builds nuclear weapons, once China is handed this technology they will hand it over to Iran and soon you will have terrorist flying these vehicles into every skyscraper in NYC.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
      • Orion Pax

        How much do tickets cost to Delusional-Land?

        August 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  64. Rick

    If the PENTAGON is making this, its not meant to carry people its meant to carry a NUKE.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      "The Pentagon" is not performing this work, it is an Air Force project. Second, while you certainly could put a nuke on this, it really doesn't offer any advantage relative to existing ICBMs. This is the basis for a reuseable platform for getting things into LEO, and for cruise missiles.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
      • Tom

        And what can be put on a cruise missile? A Nuke.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Easy E

      Dunderheads: the vast, vast majority of cruise missiles in our inventory are not tipped with nukes...mostly bunker-buster and submunition (Daisycutter). I guess you must think we nuked Libya 100 times this past spring with al the cruise missiles we fired into Tripoli and Misrata.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Marshall

      Why would you put a nuke on this when good old fashioned nuclear missiles are much faster?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
  65. Will

    New York to London in under an hour? We should be able to do this on a maglev vac-train. Let's do that at some point in humanity's future.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      Good luck trying to move any type of vehicle at Mach 6+ at sea level, at least for very long. I suppose if you like watching the train literally ablate away at the rate of 1 car per second that might be a good idea. It's always fun listening to the commentary of those who know zero about fundamental physics.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • S1N

      Yes, because it's SO much cheaper to build a mag-lev trac across the Atlantic Ocean and is SO much easier to maintain. Exactly what happens when one of the trains breaks down again? Also, we'd have to shut the thing down every year (multiple times) during hurricane season. Even the long term costs (assuming this had been a civilian, not military, project) are cheaper using aircraft.

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

    All this money invested and the one thing that they say is too costly would be going to retrieve it. Send the coast guard to pick it up. Make it a training mission for them?

    August 14, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      There's no point. It'll be at the bottom of the Pacific – it's far too dangerous to fly over land or near ships at this point – and it can't be reused anyway. The speeds it achieves pretty much destroy the current design.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • dameon5

      At the speeds this thing travels, it is outside of the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard within seconds. It would require sending out a Naval ship. Plus, at the stage that the technology is at it could end up landing anywhere within thousands of miles. So there is no cost effective way to have a ship on hand. It could take days for the ship to reach the place where the vehicle splashes down and at the speeds it should be travelling when it contacts the water there probably isn't much worth recovering.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
  67. myself

    1.25 miles per second is pretty damn fast

    August 14, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
  68. Rhubarb

    The B-52H that will drop this vehicle was last built in 1961, and is tailor made for such a task. B-52's have made numerous such drops, including the X-series rockets and experimental crafts that led to the development of the Space Shuttle.

    And as a weapon, despite its large radar signature, it is NOT something any other country wants to tangle with.

    Long live the awesome and incredible B-52 !

    August 14, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • dameon5

      > despite its large radar signature, it is NOT something any other country wants to tangle with.

      Not to mention that since this thing makes the SR-71 look like a snail it's not like they would have anything that could intercept it.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
  69. Dave

    AND WHY ARE WE POSTING OUR TOP SECRET PROJECTS ON CNN? Aaahh, I know, so that the secret services from Russia and China know about it so they can, or at least try to, steal our technologies and build their own. How did I not think of this earlier. We are soooo dumb.

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

      Well, one of us by the name of "Dave", anyway.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • Mohamed

      So we can say it has been leaked and blame someone else for it.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      It is a form of intimidation the USAF has long used against potential adversaries. You put the most eye-wateringly advanced technology in the air and make sure your enemies know you did it. Even if it doesn't work perfectly, now your enemies have to spend tons of time and money of their own to catch up, if they can, or suffer the public humiliation of not being able to do the same. This has been the USAF's tactic for decades. You will see countless occasions where the former USSR did the monkey-see, monkey do, thing trying to copy every new idea to come out of NASA or the USAF. Often these projects were expensive dead ends. Now the intended audience is China.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • mtgfuturestest

      Well for one in todays highly technological age where cameras are every where, a B-52 isnt exacly unoticisable, expecially when u have a x plane straped to it. could cause a panic with its missile like shape attached to a bomber. not to mention im sure the shockwave will sound like a nasa shuttle is taking off. Oh by the way @lol , NASA is a part of the United States Airforce.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
      • Orion Pax

        No, NASA is *not* part of the USAF. There is much co-operation, to be sure, but they are distinct and separate.
        NASA reports directly to the President, not through the USAF or Pentagon. Its a civilian agency, not a military one.

        August 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Marshall

      This isn't top secret. If it was they wouldn't be issuing press releases about it.

      This isn't really anything special as far as military capabilities go.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Bob

      Trust me, the Russians and Chinese have known or do know about this technology LOOOOOONG before we got this story today on CNN (obviously not at the level we own it or can achieve)...and to be quite honest, there's about a 99.9% chance that we've been flying +Mach-6 and above for a long time now. Typically when we hear these stories, we've had the technology HIGHLY classified for 20-30+ years, and why and how we stay ahead. The Predator Drone program was flying those unmanned vehicles beginning in 1981 (if not a few years earlier than that), but we as the public did not hear or know about it until 2007....try to wrap your head around that one, I can only imagine how truly advanced we are that we have absolutely NO clue's good to be American!

      August 14, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  70. Steve Klausner

    This is a nuclear 1st strike stealth delivery vehicle.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Nuclear weapons are largely made obsolete by modern precision guided weapons and advanced energetic materials (explosives for the layman). A rule of thumb in warfare is that to guarantee the destruction of your target, the blast radius of the piece of ordnance being used has to equal the CEP, or Circular Error Probable, of the weapon's guidance system. In the case of dumb bombs, the CEP was hundreds of meters. Similarly ICBMs had CEPs in the hundreds of meters. If one such weapon had to make a guaranteed kill of the target, that meant a weapon with a blast radius of hundreds of meters. Only a nuclear weapon could do this.
      Today, with modern precision guidance kits, even iron bombs can achieve CEPS in the tens of meters, and some guided missiles are down below ten meters CEP. With such accurate weapons, nuclear warheads are unnecessary. No need to spend all that money and have a complex security system to protect nukes when conventional ordnance can easily do the job.
      Today, iron bombs with a JDAM guidance kit and penetrator warhead can blow missile silos. Likewise the warheads on some conventional cruise missiles. It is possible to destroy an enemies nuclear force with conventional weapons only. Nuclear weapons are unnecessary.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Graymater

      Not a nuclear launch vehicle silly. At mach 20 it's a kinetic weapon. Nukes are obsolete as a weapon other than radical nations. Kinetic weapons are green, cheap, very effective, and leave very little evidence at the scene.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  71. Terry

    The X-15 program repeatedly flew manned missions at 4500 mph 50 years ago.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      The X-15 was not airbreathing, it was rocket powered. Carrying around oxidizer and having to use turbopumps dramatically reduces useable payload and reliability relative to an airbreathing system.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  72. Katie

    So in one way we are doing great for our military in establishing this yet we are dumping it in the ocean and not retreiving it. Therefore poluting the ocean and what lives wherever it lands. Yes, things land in the ocean and polute it anyway but given an option wouldn't one think that they wouldn't polute on purpose?

    August 14, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      Katie: why don't you volunteer to go and catch it when it lands. I mean, sure, said multi-ton object will probably still be going supersonic when it lands, but hey, don't let that dampen your enthusiasm.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • myself

      oh shutup

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

      You're right... It's probably better if it crashes into a densely populated area.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • loverpoint

      This is the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEXES subtle way of announcing that they don't want their budget cut. My question is why this kind of money and technology isn't in NASA's budget, Wouldn't something like this be beneficial in getting people back and forth to the international space station?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • Mark Rogers

      Katie – Think about how much pollution would be created in a recovery operation versus leaving it.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      The fuel will have been used up before it crashes into the Pacific. No pollution problem.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • sumdumphuq

      There are hundreds if not thousands of ships planted into the ocean to create artificial reefs, and if you read the article there is NO FUEL on this craft .......

      August 14, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Bob

      Guaranteed, the Navy or one of our branches of the military will retrieve it...obviously it is something they want to keep secret, for what reason they want to keep it secret I do not know, buuuut, I'm guessing maybe they don't want us as the public to know that we can go that deep in the ocean to do such a recovery, seems to be classified information when it comes to such a's good to be American!

      August 14, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  73. Franky

    SCRAM Jet tech.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
  74. Me

    So, which is it, editor, "London" or "L.A."?

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

      Well, the difference is about 1,000 miles, and in this frame of reference, that is 20 minutes of flight time. So, pick one.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
  75. TonyInNYC

    I'm glad we can build something like this. I wish we could build a couple of bullet trains too, like other industrialized countries have.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
  76. Majic

    How could the Pentagon forget about S-4?

    August 14, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  77. ronvan

    WOW!! SO, they are going to do their tests and then "crash it", at what, 140 million EACH? Makes sense to me! And in the future, put troops on it, and then what, crash it again? Could you launch a missle to a target at this speed or do we have to spend more $$$ to develop the missiles? OR, we might have to "clone" or develope "Iron Man" like robots to survive 20G's? OR, OR, AND, AND & SO FORTH!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • no, silly

      Read before you type. Its $140 million SYSTEM. The individual unit isn't $140 million. And they said that it would cost more to retrieve it than its worth. In addition, its a test unit meant to gather data for furture designs. So resumably recovering it would not give them something they would bother reusing anyway.

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

        Likely didn't make it out of high school.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • HA25

      You're right. We should stick to horses. If we go faster we'll have to develop ways to keep people safe at speeds higher than 30 mph. Like Seatbelts. Airbags. Crumple Zones. Guard Rails. Image that future.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • Easy E

      Dear delta minus: go back to watching your movies and whining about life from mommy's basement. Reality is for people who actually get things done.

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

      Ronvan, your an idiot....Seriously there is no nice way of saying it and I am sorry for that but you are truly an idiot with no vision.....

      August 14, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Also, the hunk of burnt-out metal that lands in the Pacific isn't worth $140 million. That money gets spent back on land.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
  78. tony

    Dumb headline! Should say New York to London, not Los Angeles.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  79. Geoff

    Seems a little slow. We already hit mach 9.6 in 2004. See article below.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • pointless1

      I thought the same thing. Glad to see CNN keeps up with what they write about.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
      • lol

        Yup, but that was NASA and this is the Air Force...NASA's retarded cousin. Plus; it's easier to funnel tax-payer dollars into a defense program than one for space exploration or science. People will except the social program know as "The Military" over ones designed for the enhancement and betterment of mankind. And yes conservatives, the military is socialism.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |
      • mtgfuturestest

        NASA is a branch of the AirForce, just an unmilitirised branch. Navy has its different branches and so does the Army.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:40 am |
      • Orion Pax

        Sorry, NASA is *not* a branch of the USAF. Google it.
        It is a civilian agency that reports directly to the president, not through any military command.

        August 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Feiyim

      But this Mach 9.6 was outta atmosphere buddy...we are acting within the atmosphere and against Gravity remember..

      August 14, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
      • Marshall

        "But this Mach 9.6 was outta atmosphere buddy...we are acting within the atmosphere and against Gravity remember."

        Wrong. That test (the X-43A) was inside the atmosphere. And what does gravity have to do with it? It's not like gravity goes away once you leave the atmosphere. If it did then the Moon wouldn't be in orbit around the Earth.

        August 14, 2012 at 10:48 am |
      • Cheese Wonton

        X-43s engine operated for only ten seconds maximum. X-51 is the follow on in the Hyper-X series, with it's engine designed to run for minutes rather than just seconds. Each stop advances the range, and thus the usefulness, of the concept.

        August 14, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • sick

      Fei is right. making something go at high speeds outside the atmosphere is no big deal. Going to other planets, unmanned vehicles can travel over Mach 100

      August 14, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • p36288

      There are many great progresses from X-43 to X-51, although both are just for technical test. X-51 uses normal fuel similar with aeroplane, while X-43 uses H2. And X-43 can just work in the assigned Mach number, while X-51 can accelerate from about Mach 5 to Mach 6. These are key points decide whether the technology can be applied in the future.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • jaspercor

        this will be our future defense against the chinese

        August 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  80. Karaya

    Those who do not want to feed their own army – will end up feeding enemy's one.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • Busted

      Oh boy, another person who lives their life based on what was read on a bumper sticker... Scary

      August 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • Joe dirt

      Very nice quote!!!

      August 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  81. tony

    Dumb headline should read NY to LHR !!!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  82. SB1790

    I wonder if the actually field use models will be able to return or go to another destination? These things can't be cheap. It would seem simple enough to evade these things if they were in limited supply and could only go from point A to point B. Simply have multiple point B's with many of them decoys. Eventually you'd use up all of the available stock, rather quickly.

    Does seem like a possible way to courier desperately needed supplies to front lines. I guess this renders the ICBM first strike conundrum mute.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  83. The Main Event

    So 2 things:

    We don't recover the thing because of costs, yet it costs millions to plunge it into the ocean to never see it again. Anyone else think that there must be smart enough individuals working on these projects to at least figure out a process to recover or even dare I say, LAND the thing?

    My other thing is anyone who believes this will be at a civilians use within this current lifetime of the next 50 years is nuts. These things are purely weapons and with the current state of the world, they will stay weapons. If CNN is writing articles about it, there is nothing that any other country doesn't already know about it. Declassified info like this means either it has failed multiple times and is a science fair project now with your tax dollars in the defense budget OR we are preparing for the future threats of sending more soldiers over seas somewhere, considering this is for transportation of "supplies"

    August 14, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Testing over land at this stage of development is silly; it's simply too dangerous. Anything moving that fast has enormous kinetic energy, and would devastate a wide area if it crashed.

      Recovery from the ocean is ridiculously expensive.

      So the best plan is to do limited field testing and let the prototypes sink. It's also the most cost effective.

      Note, too, that these craft can't be reused after flight; they are too heavily damaged by the immense speed and conditions encountered to ever fly again.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
      • michiganhockey11

        I would assume that if it is crashing into the ocean, it would disintegrate so other coutries couldn't recover any of the tech involved? Or have thermite waiting to go after the engineers gather all the data it needs?

        Somebody want to do the math on how much force from an impact this thing would generate? Much more than those alleged kinetic bombs (tungsten rods) dropped from orbit, right?

        August 14, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • dougsherman

      They only intend to land it on someone's head. The premise that this has any commercial/travel value is obsurd. Its a means to deliver death.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
  84. Ryan

    if we took just a fraction of the money we blow on military adventurism and nonsense like this we could feed every hungry citizen, give everybody a pension and full retirement at age 50, have universal healthcare, and high speed rail to every city in the nation. think about it. where are our priorities?

    August 14, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • DMA

      True but wheres the WOW factor in that?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  85. Dreamer96

    When I look at the Global Hawk, I see in the shape a Goose...It's long neck and then it's body...You can see the air flow and the lifting body in the design...Take a good look at nature and how animals fly long distances using the least amount of energy, and then applying that to a aircraft design in one good way....On the other hand the F-177 was designed by electrical engineers first to minimize the radar returns..then made to flight engineers that took the general shape and made it fly....But then the F-4 Phantom was just a flying rock with two very power engines....

    This new design in very interesting in the big push is speed..pulse engines and controlling the incoming airflow..more light controlling a stream off cannon fire..and getting the most speed out of each blast...Gotta Love Engineering...

    August 14, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
  86. FrankHayward

    Isn't it great our government spends our tax dollars any way it wants and we have NO choice whatsoever where our tax dollars go. We can spend millions protecting other countries and sending a rover to Mars yet we can not protect and care for what is on our own soil.

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

      Uh – it's called a Representative Republic. Try voting once in a while instead of just yapping on the Internet.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply
  87. yoda0000

    Do its electronic components use rare earths from China?

    August 14, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • loverpoint

      Hello world; we the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX of the USA would like to announce our top secret testing, the only thing we left out is where it will land so other countries can scrape up the technology when it crashes. We are announcing this for a good reason, there is about to be massive cuts in military spending so this is the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEXES way of protesting the cuts. This is a subtile form of blackmail by the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX stating that the billions the government has paid them for secrecy and research will now be made public and those companies will now sell their information to the country that is the next highest bidder.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
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