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SR-72?

flateric

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Flyaway said:
LM has told us a couple of times that the FRV will be F-22 size, manned and I am assuming at that scale it will be single engined. Some of the articles have referred to the vehicle that was seen as if it was the FRV, which it clearly isn’t.
FRV was always told as of 'optionally piloted'.
Why do you think that the thing flying is not FRV testbed - yet still powered by classic turbojet for low-speed envelope tests?
 

antigravite

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Jay Bennett, "Hypersonic SR-72 Demonstrator Reportedly Spotted at Skunk Works —
A subscale demonstrator was reportedly spied at Lockheed's facilities in California as the aerospace giant touts the imminent coming of hypersonic aircraft,” Popular Mechanics, Sep 28, 2017,
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/news/a28420/hypersonic-sr-72-demonstrator-reportedly-spotted-at-skunk-works/

A.
 

Flyaway

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flateric said:
Flyaway said:
LM has told us a couple of times that the FRV will be F-22 size, manned and I am assuming at that scale it will be single engined. Some of the articles have referred to the vehicle that was seen as if it was the FRV, which it clearly isn’t.
FRV was always told as of 'optionally piloted'.
Why do you think that the thing flying is not FRV testbed - yet still powered by classic turbojet for low-speed envelope tests?
Do you think LM are deliberately obscuring their developmental timeline in their pronouncements on the project?

Two recent related news articles. Especially the second one.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a27245/new-ceramic-coating-hypersonic-flight/

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/09/19/orbital-atk-darpa-contract/
 

sferrin

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Flyaway said:
flateric said:
Flyaway said:
LM has told us a couple of times that the FRV will be F-22 size, manned and I am assuming at that scale it will be single engined. Some of the articles have referred to the vehicle that was seen as if it was the FRV, which it clearly isn’t.
FRV was always told as of 'optionally piloted'.
Why do you think that the thing flying is not FRV testbed - yet still powered by classic turbojet for low-speed envelope tests?
Do you think LM are deliberately obscuring their developmental timeline in their pronouncements on the project?

Two recent related news articles. Especially the second one.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a27245/new-ceramic-coating-hypersonic-flight/

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/09/19/orbital-atk-darpa-contract/
Interesting, considering the recent Northrop Grumman purchase.
 

NeilChapman

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sferrin said:
Flyaway said:
flateric said:
Flyaway said:
LM has told us a couple of times that the FRV will be F-22 size, manned and I am assuming at that scale it will be single engined. Some of the articles have referred to the vehicle that was seen as if it was the FRV, which it clearly isn’t.
FRV was always told as of 'optionally piloted'.
Why do you think that the thing flying is not FRV testbed - yet still powered by classic turbojet for low-speed envelope tests?
Do you think LM are deliberately obscuring their developmental timeline in their pronouncements on the project?

Two recent related news articles. Especially the second one.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a27245/new-ceramic-coating-hypersonic-flight/

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/09/19/orbital-atk-darpa-contract/
Interesting, considering the recent Northrop Grumman purchase.
Agreed. Sounds like potentially a good purchase on multiple fronts.
 

marauder2048

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flateric said:
FRV was always told as of 'optionally piloted'.
Why do you think that the thing flying is not FRV testbed - yet still powered by classic turbojet for low-speed envelope tests?
Has Lockheed announced which "off-the-shelf" turbojet they are using?

AFRE is using a water injected F405
NASA is using a modified WJ38-15
 

Mat Parry

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marauder2048 said:
Has Lockheed announced which "off-the-shelf" turbojet they are using?
If you are referring to the turbojet used in the ground tests for integrating a turbine-based combined cycle propulsion system, then I haven't seen a specific turbojet mentioned.

The Skunk Works conducted subscale ground tests of the TBCC under the Facet program, which combined a small high-Mach turbojet with a dual-mode ramjet/scramjet, and the two sharing an axisymmetric inlet and nozzle.
http://aviationweek.com/technology/skunk-works-reveals-sr-71-successor-plan

for the hypersonic FRV, I had understood that the demonstrator would use a standard fighter class turbofan



“We have developed a way to work with an off-the-shelf fighter-class engine like the F100/F110,” notes Leland.
The path to the SR-72 would begin with an optionally piloted flight research vehicle (FRV), measuring around 60 ft. long and powered by a single, but full-scale, propulsion flowpath. “The demonstrator is about the size of the F-22, single-engined and could fly for several minutes at Mach 6,” says Leland. The outline plan for the operational vehicle, the SR-72, is a twin-engine unmanned aircraft over 100 ft. long.
 

Flyaway

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Isn’t the FRV meant to be flying with a single combined cycle power plant ?
 

Mat Parry

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Flyaway said:
Isn’t the FRV meant to be flying with a single combined cycle power plant ?
Yes the quote from Brad Leland, Lockheed portfolio manager for air-breathing hypersonic technologies was very clear.

Mat Parry said:
http://aviationweek.com/technology/skunk-works-reveals-sr-71-successor-plan



The path to the SR-72 would begin with an optionally piloted flight research vehicle (FRV), measuring around 60 ft. long and powered by a single, but full-scale, propulsion flowpath. “The demonstrator is about the size of the F-22, single-engined and could fly for several minutes at Mach 6,” says Leland.
 

Flyaway

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marauder2048 said:
flateric said:
FRV was always told as of 'optionally piloted'.
Why do you think that the thing flying is not FRV testbed - yet still powered by classic turbojet for low-speed envelope tests?
Has Lockheed announced which "off-the-shelf" turbojet they are using?

AFRE is using a water injected F405
NASA is using a modified WJ38-15
Do you think they could use the F135 isn’t it currently the most powerful power plant of its type currently in use in the military, plus it’s at the heart of an existing LM product so they would be well familiar with it.
 

elmayerle

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Given that the now cancelled F136 was a variable-cycle engine, that might make an excellent starting point. L-M should have a reasonable familiarity with what was supposed to be the alternate F-35 engine and there should be suitable spare hardware sitting around.
 

DrRansom

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There isn't any need for variable cycle engine or much concern about fuel efficiency, the sole purpose of the jet engine is to push the airplane to Mach 2 in an acceleration climb. In that case, a well known, cheap, and small jet engine is all that is necessary.

As for the flow path, there are some areas for subscale demonstrator. Low-speed control is the most obvious, as the airframe is designed for high-speed flight. Less obvious is turbine engine performance through the inlet. I think that will have to wait for a full scale demonstrator.
 

antigravite

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DrRansom said:
There isn't any need for variable cycle engine or much concern about fuel efficiency, the sole purpose of the jet engine is to push the airplane to Mach 2 in an acceleration climb. In that case, a well known, cheap, and small jet engine is all that is necessary.

As for the flow path, there are some areas for subscale demonstrator. Low-speed control is the most obvious, as the airframe is designed for high-speed flight. Less obvious is turbine engine performance through the inlet. I think that will have to wait for a full scale demonstrator.
Well, well, well… Let's hope they passed the INCAAPS study milestone, matured beyond Loflyte and the HIPTET / HiMATE engine experience. For this new config, technology moved on. By far.

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1836.msg127585.html#msg127585

A.
 

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http://www.rocket.com/article/darpa-awards-aerojet-rocketdyne-contract-develop-hypersonic-advanced-full-range-engine
 

Flyaway

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Here’s another article on the award.

Aerojet Rocketdyne To Demo Combined-Cycle Hypersonic Engine

As the U.S. steps up research and development for hypersonic weapons, DARPA has awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a contract to demonstrate a turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine that could power a reusable high-speed aircraft from takeoff to beyond Mach ...
Under the program, large-scale components of the propulsion system will first be demonstrated independently, followed by a full-scale freejet ground test of the TBCC mode transition. Accomplishing these objectives will enable future air-breathing hypersonic systems for long-range strike, high-speed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and two-stage-to-orbit space access, DARPA says.

Conceptual design of a hypersonic vehicle was completed in fiscal 2017 to enable definition of the ground demonstration engine performance requirements. Plans for fiscal 2018 include beginning testing of a large-scale common inlet and full-scale DMRJ combustor, completing fabrication of the full-scale common nozzle and beginning integration of the off-the-shelf turbine engine.
http://m.aviationweek.com/defense/aerojet-rocketdyne-demo-combined-cycle-hypersonic-engine
 

FighterJock

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An interesting development. I hope Lockheed will use the engine to power the SR-72.
 

Flyaway

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I have a suspicion everything on this project is a bit further ahead than announced, that these news releases reflect things that are already well advanced. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear of the FRV rollout next year.

It even has its own official poster, design looks a bit different in it.

http://www.avgeekery.com/air-force-highlights-sr-72-blackbird-successor-on-new-poster/amp/
 

CJGibson

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'I have a suspicion everything on this project is a bit further ahead than announced'

By 30 years!

Chris
 

RavenOne

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CJGibson said:
'I have a suspicion everything on this project is a bit further ahead than announced'

By 30 years!

Chris
Hi C

Twigged from your description and subsequent artists impression of that night that it was an NKC-135 refueling said vehicle such as from Edwards...judging by the nose.

Three decades of development now that reminds me laughingly of the opening dialogue between Archangel and Senator Dietz in the first ever episode of Airwolf, where Archangel describes the orgins of Airwolf development which started after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

cheers
 

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marauder2048

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CJGibson said:
'I have a suspicion everything on this project is a bit further ahead than announced'

By 30 years!

Chris
*sigh*...If only DARPA actually worked that way...*grumble*
 

Flyaway

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marauder2048 said:
CJGibson said:
'I have a suspicion everything on this project is a bit further ahead than announced'

By 30 years!

Chris
*sigh*...If only DARPA actually worked that way...*grumble*
I still wonder if they’ve ever flown any high speed experimental aircraft over recent decades.
 

sferrin

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marauder2048 said:
CJGibson said:
'I have a suspicion everything on this project is a bit further ahead than announced'

By 30 years!

Chris
*sigh*...If only DARPA actually worked that way...*grumble*
My admittedly limited experience suggests they try something, and whether it's successful or not, more often than not just file the information where it's left to rot.
 

Rhinocrates

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There's this interesting interview with Sharon Weinberger on her book, Imagineers of War.

http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/20-aug-2017/broadcast-2969-sharon-weinberger

She says that the line between success and failure is quite fuzzy, with "failed" projects like NASP and Q nonetheless feeding on to later developments. She does however mention that DARPA lacks an internal historian, which affects its institutional memory.

Pure uninformed speculation on my part, but it may be kinda sorta perhaps possible - not proven - that if some rumours are true, a PDE powered 'Aurora' may have flown, but the acoustic effects of the PDE engines caused severe MRO problems, turning it into a very expensive and short-lived hangar queen that never saw service. In British Secret Projects: Jet Fighters Since 1950 Tony Buttler notes that
the acoustic effects of rockets on the airframe in the Fairey F.155, Saunders-Roe P.187 and Vickers Type 559 raised serious concerns. Then there's the huge exhaust ramp on NASP and many other hypersonic aircraft renderings that must have presented huge heating problems and is notably absent from the SR-72 renderings.

You don't hear much about PDEs any more, but Aerojet Rocketdyne has been investigating 'Rotating Detonation Engines':

http://aviationweek.com/print/technology/aerojet-rocketdyne-explores-detonation-engine-options

... though now they're seeking to demonstrate combined-cycle.
 

Flyaway

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THE ENIGMATIC SR-72 AND THE PALMDALE SIGHTINGS: WHAT DO THEY TELL US ABOUT AMERICA’S SECRET HYPERSONIC PROGRAM?

https://theaviationist.com/2017/10/12/the-enigmatic-sr-72-and-the-palmdale-sightings-what-do-they-tell-us-about-americas-secret-hypersonic-program/
 

aliensporebomb

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Rhinocrates said:
There's this interesting interview with Sharon Weinberger on her book, Imagineers of War.

http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/20-aug-2017/broadcast-2969-sharon-weinberger

She says that the line between success and failure is quite fuzzy, with "failed" projects like NASP and Q nonetheless feeding on to later developments. She does however mention that DARPA lacks an internal historian, which affects its institutional memory.

Pure uninformed speculation on my part, but it may be kinda sorta perhaps possible - not proven - that if some rumours are true, a PDE powered 'Aurora' may have flown, but the acoustic effects of the PDE engines caused severe MRO problems, turning it into a very expensive and short-lived hangar queen that never saw service. In British Secret Projects: Jet Fighters Since 1950 Tony Buttler notes that
the acoustic effects of rockets on the airframe in the Fairey F.155, Saunders-Roe P.187 and Vickers Type 559 raised serious concerns. Then there's the huge exhaust ramp on NASP and many other hypersonic aircraft renderings that must have presented huge heating problems and is notably absent from the SR-72 renderings.

You don't hear much about PDEs any more, but Aerojet Rocketdyne has been investigating 'Rotating Detonation Engines':

http://aviationweek.com/print/technology/aerojet-rocketdyne-explores-detonation-engine-options

... though now they're seeking to demonstrate combined-cycle.
That's a thought for sure - One story going around back in the day was that a witness to Aurora (Jim Goodall?) claimed the during a ground test the engines could be heard from 19 miles away. The sheer sound pressure levels alone would make anyone on the flightline deaf. Who knows what stress that would have put on an airframe? If it existed as a test program this would have been a brute force way to achieve high speed cruise but later ideas are probably better. As time passes we might hear more about that but it's obvious the SR-72 is using a different method.
 

Flyaway

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aliensporebomb said:
Rhinocrates said:
There's this interesting interview with Sharon Weinberger on her book, Imagineers of War.

http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/20-aug-2017/broadcast-2969-sharon-weinberger

She says that the line between success and failure is quite fuzzy, with "failed" projects like NASP and Q nonetheless feeding on to later developments. She does however mention that DARPA lacks an internal historian, which affects its institutional memory.

Pure uninformed speculation on my part, but it may be kinda sorta perhaps possible - not proven - that if some rumours are true, a PDE powered 'Aurora' may have flown, but the acoustic effects of the PDE engines caused severe MRO problems, turning it into a very expensive and short-lived hangar queen that never saw service. In British Secret Projects: Jet Fighters Since 1950 Tony Buttler notes that
the acoustic effects of rockets on the airframe in the Fairey F.155, Saunders-Roe P.187 and Vickers Type 559 raised serious concerns. Then there's the huge exhaust ramp on NASP and many other hypersonic aircraft renderings that must have presented huge heating problems and is notably absent from the SR-72 renderings.

You don't hear much about PDEs any more, but Aerojet Rocketdyne has been investigating 'Rotating Detonation Engines':

http://aviationweek.com/print/technology/aerojet-rocketdyne-explores-detonation-engine-options

... though now they're seeking to demonstrate combined-cycle.
That's a thought for sure - One story going around back in the day was that a witness to Aurora (Jim Goodall?) claimed the during a ground test the engines could be heard from 19 miles away. The sheer sound pressure levels alone would make anyone on the flightline deaf. Who knows what stress that would have put on an airframe? If it existed as a test program this would have been a brute force way to achieve high speed cruise but later ideas are probably better. As time passes we might hear more about that but it's obvious the SR-72 is using a different method.
I wonder what the project really was called being as Aurora was a line item in the B-2 budget.

By the way this book is in my to read pile, I really must hurry up and get to it.
 

DrRansom

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Flyaway said:
THE ENIGMATIC SR-72 AND THE PALMDALE SIGHTINGS: WHAT DO THEY TELL US ABOUT AMERICA’S SECRET HYPERSONIC PROGRAM?

https://theaviationist.com/2017/10/12/the-enigmatic-sr-72-and-the-palmdale-sightings-what-do-they-tell-us-about-americas-secret-hypersonic-program/
This is a rather silly article, which adds more confusion than anything else.
 

marauder2048

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Rhinocrates said:
You don't hear much about PDEs any more, but Aerojet Rocketdyne has been investigating 'Rotating Detonation Engines':

http://aviationweek.com/print/technology/aerojet-rocketdyne-explores-detonation-engine-options

... though now they're seeking to demonstrate combined-cycle.
Above Mach 3-4, PDEs lose their thermal efficiency advantage over other
cycles.

Having said that, one of the inferred knees (from Letsinger 2012)
in the survivability curve is a Mach 2.5 - 3.5 cruiser
with significant signature reduction.

The other is a Mach 5 - 6 cruiser with moderate signature reduction.
 

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Dragon029

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http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc/2012_letsinger.pdf

At least one of the Skunk Works slides is from Ellrodt, “The Value of Speed/Altitude and Signature for Survivability,” Lockheed Martin Releasable Power Point Presentation, Oct 24, 2011,
Slide 15.
, but I can't find that on the web.
 

Flyaway

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Related article.

USAF searching for hypersonic vehicle materials

The US Air Force Research Laboratory is searching for leading edge materials for reusable and expendable hypersonic vehicles to support its high speed strike weapon programme.
Air Force Materiel Command will consider thermal performance as it selects the material, according to the $2.3 million contract award to Integration Innovation posted 27 September on the Federal Business Opportunities website. Based in Huntsville, Alabama, Integration Innovation Integration has previously worked with the Defense Department and NASA on thermal protection systems supporting hypersonic vehicles.

“The objective of the RX hypersonics programme is to provide a range of materials and processing options for future hypersonic vehicles,” an AFRL spokesman said in a 10 October statement to FlightGlobal.

Leading edges refer to the surfaces that first come in contact at hypersonic speed with the super-heated airflow, such as as the front of the nose, wings and empennage surfaces.

The USAF has proposed $31.2 million in fiscal year 2018 to focus research on high temperature aerospace materials and hypersonics. Budget documents also mention plans to improve fabrication of materials required for expendable hypersonic applications. The FY2018 budget proposal details plans for both re-usable and expendable hypersonic vehicles, including limited life intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance vehicles.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-searching-for-hypersonic-vehicle-materials-442171/
 

GeorgeA

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aliensporebomb said:
That's a thought for sure - One story going around back in the day was that a witness to Aurora (Jim Goodall?) claimed the during a ground test the engines could be heard from 19 miles away. The sheer sound pressure levels alone would make anyone on the flightline deaf. Who knows what stress that would have put on an airframe? If it existed as a test program this would have been a brute force way to achieve high speed cruise but later ideas are probably better. As time passes we might hear more about that but it's obvious the SR-72 is using a different method.
Air turborockets are attractive propulsion systems for some vehicle types, and should in theory be spectacularly loud. There was a lot of experimental work done on those in the 1960s and 1970s. Thus there could have been a technology base to exploit if they were incorporated into test vehicles in the Copper Canyon/NASP/"Aurora" period.

Having said that . . a ground test, if in fact it happened as described, is not the same thing as testing an installed system in a flight vehicle. Also, plain old rockets can be heard from very far away -- a Shuttle launch had a pretty big acoustical footprint, for example.
 

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One of the numerous articles I’ve seen about this seemed to think the engine in the FRV would be based on the F-135, has this been stated anywhere else?
 

marauder2048

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Except that NASA, in its sole-source justification, says that Lockheed's hypersonic
TBCC efforts only go back a decade (as of 2014).
 

Flyaway

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4967499/world-powerful-booms-rattling-the-us-have-baffled-experts-with-some-blaming-supersonic-aircrafts/

;)
 

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Sonograms? In The Sun? Whatever next?

Chris
 

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You haven't been acquiring & trying out any lost prototypes lately, have you Mr. Gibson?
 

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Why do they say "aircrafts"?

I know it's The Sun, but I was under the impression you still had to work very hard and know some English to be able to write for them?

Who wrote that and who edited it?
 
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