Spy Plane Can Fly Anywhere on Earth—in an Hour
But aircraft won't be in service until 2030 at the earliest
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 6, 2013 12:45 PM CST
Updated Nov 10, 2013 3:55 PM CST
A Lockheed Martin image of the planned plane.   (Lockheed Martin)

(Newser) – Lockheed Martin is working on an unmanned spy plane that can travel at six times the speed of sound—meaning that no matter where it needs to go, it can be there in an hour, LiveScience reports. The SR-72, under development in California, is a follow-up to the SR-71 Blackbird, developed in the 1960s and used by the US Air Force until 1998. At mach 6—some 3,500mph—the upcoming plane will go twice as fast as its predecessor, and three times as fast as today's fighter jets.

"Hypersonic is the new stealth," Lockheed engineer Brad Leland tells Reuters. "Your adversaries cannot hide or move their critical assets. They will be found. That becomes a game-changer." A missile showing off the technology could be ready in five or six years, at a cost of less than $1 billion, he says. But the plane itself will take a little longer. It could be ready for service by 2030, notes Aviation Week via LiveScience.

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Showing 3 of 71 comments
DarkFrancis
Nov 12, 2013 2:57 AM CST
It goes 3500mph...and can get anywhere it needs to go in an hour. Does that mean it'll never go any farther than 3500 miles in a jouney?
Cuervo Jones
Nov 11, 2013 6:20 PM CST
So if the Air Force quit using them in 98 who was flying the one that just missed our passenger flight from Chicago to El Paso in 06
NorCalHal
Nov 10, 2013 8:30 PM CST
How about we create JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, and did I mention JOBS, so that people don't need the inefficient, wasteful and corrupt federal government to provide the services and basic needs (including food & shelter) that we should (and could) provide for OURSELVES. In creating JOBS we would increase individual pride, develop character (which most people can't even define), give people self esteem and reduce the drug, crime and family problems we now have. "IF", and when, we use federal taxpayer money for ANYTHING it should be for programs that create JOBS, make us safer as a nation or improve and preserve our CONSTITUTIONAL values. How many food stamp recipients do you know that pay taxes? Create JOBS and get these people on the payroll as well as the tax roll and you will have the money for education, food safety and the other needed services. This concept of Jobs = family & national security seems to be foreign to our current administration's thinking (or the lack thereof) as they would rather provide "handouts" and create citizens that are dependent on the government, rather than self sufficient.