Hypersonic Plane Lost On Test Flight

The LA Times reports –

A test flight of an experimental aircraft capable of speeding through air at 20 times the speed of sound ended prematurely Thursday morning when the arrowhead-shaped plane failed and stopped sending back real-time data to engineers and scientists who were moderating the mission. In the test flight, the aircraft, known as the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2, was launched at 7:45 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base, located northwest of Santa Barbara, into the upper reaches of  Earth’s  atmosphere aboard an eight-story Minotaur IV rocket, made by Orbital Sciences Corp. The plan was for the Falcon to speed westward for 30 minutes before plunging into the ocean near Kwajalein Atoll, about 4,000 miles from Vandenberg. But about 20 minutes into the mission, the Pentagon’s research arm, known as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, announced on its Twitter account that: “Range assets have lost telemetry.” It sounds eerily similar to the problems that plagued the Falcon’s first flight, which took place in April 2010. That test flight ended prematurely with only nine minutes of flight time. Engineers went back to the drawing board and were believed to have had things ironed out.

Continue reading HERE.

 

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