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Sunday, February 22, 2015

China tests new hypersonic glide vehicle

By Ian Bach
It is estimate the speed of the vehicle will be between Mach 5 and Mach 10.

That is way beyond what Kelly Johnson as the barrier for speed in the 1960's ("Current Limits in Speed are due, to not the sound barrier, but the temperature barrier" which was perhaps about Mach 5. ). The SR-71 was designed by Kelly Johnson aerospace engineer of Lock-Head Martin during the 1950-19??. His U2 Spy plane was an altitude limit breaker. The Sr-71 is the first insanely fast vehile, Missiles could not touch it.   So the Chinese vehicle has broke a very hard to break barrier. This doesn't fly like a cruise missile low and in a sort of S pattern around radars. This newer style vehicle which the US is also working on is shot like a rocket and then angles down early in its trajectory instead of cruising into space it would angle down and continue to burn fuel to increase speed. Then the missile is eject and cruises at hypersonic speed to its target.  Likely would need a type of ceramic skin on the craft. But all the artist renderings look like little SR-71's nose.

Artist's rendition of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 by DARPA, image from

  1. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
    Strategic Reconnaissance aircraft
  2. The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" is a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force. Wikipedia
  3. Top speed2,200 mph (3,540 km/h)
  4. Introduced1966
  5. Retired1999
  6. Length107' (33 m)
  7. Unit cost33,000,000–33,000,000 USD (1966)
  8. Engine typePratt & Whitney J58