September 22, 2017

Hypersonic test plane disappears over the Pacific

The HTV-2 Falcon doing its thing in an artists impression. Looks like an arrow head that has lost its shaft.

The Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) has disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean today.

US military scientists launched the hypersonic aircraft from California aboard a Minotaur IV rocket.

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says the unmanned test was going well and the HTV-2 successfully separated from the rocket in the upper reaches of the atmosphere . However, soon into its ‘glide’ phase contact was lost.

Because they were scientists, rather that just say that the dang plane has crashed, DARPA preferred to state facts and say “Range assets have lost telemetry with HTV2.”

This is the second HTV-2 to taste the Pacific in the last 12 months.

The HTV-2 is a global bomber prototype capable of travelling at 20 times the speed of sound (21,000kph). It is designed to provide the US Airforce with a platform for striking targets anywhere on the planet within minutes using conventional weapons.

When it is not crashing, the Falcon will be capable of travelling between New York City and Los Angeles in less than 12 minutes. Hopefully not to deliver conventional weapons.