Monday, October 20, 2008

"Higher, Farther, Faster"

"So, six decades after Chuck Yeager first went supersonic in the X-1, with the pace and volume of world of commerce growing dramatically, the opportunity for extremely long-range, high-speed aircraft has never been stronger. And yet, the old aviation mantra of "Higher, Farther, Faster" seems to have been suspended."

Here is the link to that article:

That quote from an article made me wonder. Actually, I wonder about the answer to this question quite often, "What the heck are they working on at Area 51 these days?" I figured at Groom Lake they would be working on the next generation Space Plane or the successor to the SuperSonic SR-71 that would be capable of Quiet SuperSonic Transport. Maybe they are working on an unmanned bomber project. This project would take the technology learned from the current UAV's and use that to take it to the next level and create a bomber or fighter that is unmanned. The Space Plane sounds the most interesting, but I am leaning towards the unmanned technology. From everything I have read, most of the Space Plane or Quiet SuperSonic Transport projects have been canceled or scaled back. A few articles have pointed to NASA completing a Space Plane/QSST project around 2020. Maybe some of the technology from the past 15 years or so at Groom Lake helped with what NASA is doing. We have all seen pictures of the Valkyrie, so I know they have been working on more than UAV's in the 1990's. Something impressive should be going in that huge new hanger at Groom Lake. Does anybody have any ideas what projects are being worked on and what is going in that hanger???

Here is a link to an article about Space Plane project being "Shelved" at Area 51

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