Boeing shows its vision for a hypersonic spy aircraft

From Engadget - January 15, 2018

Further progress on the design depends on whether or not American officials select it for development under both DARPA's Advanced Full Range Engine program and the US Air Force's Turbine-Based Combined Cycle study. If it does go ahead, it will be a while before there's a production aircraft. Boeing would start by making a single-engine proof of concept vehicle (roughly the size of an F-16 Falcon) and would move on to a full-sized, dual-engine version. Also, do not expect to get exactly what you see here. Boeing's Kevin Bowcutt told Aerospace Daily that the design is still evolving, so this is more a reflection of the current state of affairs than anything.

Still, the new details show that competition in hypersonic flight is finally heating up -- it's slowly moving past small-scale demos and purely theoretical exercises. While the first aircraft are likely to be limited to military and spaceflight purposes (like Boeing's own XS-1), the work you see here could translate to the civilian world in time.


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