20 Times The Speed Of Sound? The Army Has Flown “It”.
And just what is "it?" A highly sophisticated hypersonic aircraft that could get you from one end of the earth to another...in about an hour!
Thursday, the Army's new test weapon flashed across the Pacific Ocean in a successful test of hypersonic technology. DARPA, as the weapons program is called, is testing hypersonic technology, in which a plane or object travels at least five times the speed of sound, or over 3,800 miles per hour! Several previous prototypes actually exceeded mach 20 during parts of their test flights. Army and Air Force officials carefully monitored the controlled "glide" of the slender triangle shaped flat aircraft, watching dozens of monitors for flight, pitch, control, and importantly, the heat shield on the craft. Unlike current space travel, in which objects go up, fly flat, then back to the atmosphere, the hypersonic craft uses a much flatter lower travel path. Military officials say eventually when "perfected" it would allow for a military response to ANYWHERE in the world in about an hour. No pictures of the latest aircraft have been released by the Army, but earlier versions of hypersonic technology have been tested by NASA, including the image included for this story.