Pentagon Testing 13,000MPH Unmanned Jet

August 10, 2011


The Pentagon's poorly named Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA -- NOT DERPA, despite the terrible moniker) scrubbed another launch today for the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) due to weather conditions (same as yesterday's cancellation), but hopes to get the vehicle in the air edge of the atmosphere tomorrow. WTF is a HTV-2? An unmanned jet-glider capable of pushing 13,000MPH and covering New York to LA in 12 minutes. Holy shi-shi.

Why all the fuss over the hypersonic aircraft? For starters, it's part of the Pentagon's interest in the concept of "prompt global strike" - the ability to reach out and touch targets on the other side of the globe, almost instantly, without going nuclear.

It's a controversial subject in the arms-control world, but still a long way from reality. During the hypersonic vehicle's flight last year, researchers lost contact with the HTV-2 just minutes after launch. Today's flight, if successful, will focus on improving the understanding of hypersonic flight, and maintaining communication with - and control over - a craft that is hurtling along at 3.6 miles per second.

3.6 miles per second?! Is that like, faster than a bullet? "Yeaaaaaaaaah, bullets can only do like 700MPH, NOT 13,000." Listen: I didn't ask you to bring numbers into this, just answer my question. "Yes." Yes what -- yes you'll go to the dance with me? WAIT -- YOU CIRCLED 'YES'?!?!

The Pentagon's 13,000 MPH Ride [wsj]

Thanks to R-Man Lightning, who, being lightning and all, can travel at speeds up to 140,000MPH but CANNOT be ridden with a traditional saddle (you burnt my crotch off, bro -- not cool).

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