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World's fastest plane, the SR-72 'Son of Blackbird', could debut soon

By T.K. Randall
March 8, 2024 · Comment icon 9 comments
SR-72.
When will we see an official reveal of the SR-72 ? Image Credit: Lockheed Martin
Rumors have swirled for years around the development of a new type of hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft.
Believed to be in development at Lockheed Martin, the new aircraft - known as the SR-72 (or "Son of Blackbird") - will reportedly be capable of achieving speeds exceeding Mach 6 (over 4,000mph).

Designed to act as a successor to the now-retired SR-71 "Blackbird", which was itself the fastest plane in the world when it first debuted back in 1974, the SR-72 has reportedly been in development for years.

While we don't know anything concrete, it is thought that the SR-72 will be an unmanned, hypersonic reconnaissance plane capable of equipping and firing Lockheed Martin's new High-Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) which will use ramjet propulsion to hit heavily armored, distant targets.
A prototype is reportedly due to fly in 2025 with the plane entering service by 2030.

If this timetable is correct, then we would expect to hear something within the next few months.

The SR-72 isn't the only new hypersonic plane vying for the title of the world's fastest plane, either, as the Hypersonix Launch Systems Dart AE (rumored to be capable of reaching Mach 7) is also in the works, as is the US military's SR-91 Aurora which should be able to reach similar speeds to the SR-72.

Exactly when any of these will actually debut, however, remains to be seen.



Source: Supercar Blondie | Comments (9)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by OverSword 1 month ago
The SR-71 ran for decades without disclosure so it seems strange that they should announce it's successor.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Gertdoggy 1 month ago
They are probably announcing this one so that they can keep their real projects in the dark.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Hawken 1 month ago
I wonder if they found a solution to seal the fuel tanks better, so it won't leak like the SR-71 on the ground. It would leak fuel until the jet was in flight and the heat would seal the tanks and won't needs KC tankers to refuel in air.
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin 1 month ago
“We had to refuel right after takeoff for only one reason, and it wasn’t because we leaked JP-7 fuel on the ground…” Col. Richard H. Graham, former SR-71 Blackbird pilot Just for info... https://theaviationgeekclub.com/former-sr-71-driver-explains-why-the-blackbird-had-to-refuel-after-takeoff/amp/  
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats 1 month ago
That means the successor’s successor is ready for use, so they might as well announce the now outdated tech and call it “ground breaking”.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats 1 month ago
So basically “we were flying a great big bomb, so it was stored on the ground in the least explosive manner we could manage” 
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin 1 month ago
Yeah, a lot of powerful systems going-on there.
Comment icon #8 Posted by sanchez710 1 month ago
Test flights could account for some of these high speed, high altitude UAP sightings.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Trelane 1 month ago
This could be an actual program in development, or it could be another fabrication to keep countries like China guessing. One thing that is accurate is that items disclosed to the public do not necessarily represent the true cutting edge of US aerospace technology.


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