What’s with all the new and expensive exotic planes?
August 11th, 2011
USA today and LA Times reported that the fastest military plane ever launched has been lost. It is better known as the HTV-2
“LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says “contact with its experimental hypersonic glider was lost after launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast. ” “The small aircraft is supposed to maneuver through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph before intentionally diving into the ocean. The U.S. military is trying to develop technology to respond to threats around the globe at speeds of Mach 20 or greater”
Latest Update August 14, 2011
Splash down confirmed by DARPA
On Thursday, 11 August, the HTV-2 experienced a flight anomaly post perigee and into the vehicles climb. The anomaly prompted the vehicle’s autonomous flight safety system to use the craft’s aerodynamic systems to make a controlled descent and splash down into the ocean. Controlled descent is a term typically associated with a human-in-the-loop directing or guiding the unscheduled landing of an aircraft. For DARPA’s Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) controlled descent takes on new meaning thanks to the vehicle’s safety system.
“We’ve confirmed that the HTV-2 made impact with the Pacific Ocean along its flight trajectory as planned in the event of an anomaly,” explained Air Force Maj. Chris Schulz, DARPA HTV-2 program manager and PhD in aerospace engineering. “This flight safety system is a significant engineering advance in that the system prompts a vehicle to monitor the parameters under which it is operating and exercise safety protocols completely autonomously should those parameters be breached.”
Home at last.
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