Tag Archives | DARPA

DARPA seeks bidders for hypersonic Blackswift

Blackswift may have emerged out of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ Falcon hypersonic technology demonstration, but DARPA is looking for competitive bids to design and build the unmanned demonstrator, issuing this solicitation in early March: “The Tactical Technology Office (TTO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting proposals to develop an extended duration […]

Continue Reading

DARPA stays ‘out there’ with FY09 budget request

I’ve taken the bullet on your behalf and ploughed through DARPA’s fiscal year 2009 budget request to look for goodies. Here’s what I’ve found. New programmes for FY09: Multi-Modal Missile – manportable surface-to-surface and surface-to-air weapon with direct and indirect fire modes against vehicles, bunkers, helicopters and UAVs. Small UAV Strike Munition – inexpensive, lightweight […]

Continue Reading

Blackswift breaks cover – DoD funds hypersonic aircraft

The Pentagon boffins have been keeping mum, but the DoD’s fiscal year 2009 budget request lifts the lid on Blackswift – DARPA’s prototype hypersonic aircraft. Formerly the Falcon HTV-3X, and being designed by Lockheed’s Skunk Works, the unmanned Blackswift is intended to take off conventionally on turbojet power, transition to scramjets, cruise at Mach 6 […]

Continue Reading

Skunks Works to build hypersonic gliders for DARPA

DARPA has just awarded Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works a $40.8 million contract to build two HTV-2 hypersonic technology vehicles to be flight-tested in 2009 under the Falcon programme. This gives me a good excuse to update my Short Guide to Hypersonics Programmes. The HTV-2 is an unpowered, unmanned, expendable vehicle to demonstrate high lift/drag aerodynamics […]

Continue Reading

U-M’s Flying Fish UAV gets its floats wet

The University of Michigan has just posted a story on its flight tests of an unmanned seaplane called the Flying Fish. It includes this cool picture of the 7ft-span electric-powered UAV attracting the attention of some dolphins. My thanks to U-M marine hydrodynamics lab director Guy Meadows for the picture. Look for more about the […]

Continue Reading

DARPA’s Falcon – the other prompt global striker

The internet has been abuzz with stories about a new US space weapons programme, all based on an erroneous report in the Washington Post about one of my favourite DARPA projects – the Falcon hypersonic cruise vehicle technology demonstrator. Falcon has been around for yonks, but the Post managed to mangle the wording of the […]

Continue Reading

Dumbo can fly – Skunk Works airship stars in video

Thanks to Sentinel Chicken over on secretprojects.co.uk for posting this video of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ P-791 hybrid airship. The late Mike Dornheim of Aviation Week broke the story about the Skunk Works flight testing the P-791 in February 2006. As Sentinel Chicken points out, whoever posted the video on break.com did not know what […]

Continue Reading

DARPA’s high-speed Heliplane hits a hurdle

The Salt Lake Tribune has just run a profile of local gyroplane developer Groen Brothers Aviation. It contains a brief reference to “design issues” uncovered in September during the preliminary design review for the Heliplane high-speed rotorcraft demonstrator GBA is designing for DARPA. So I contacted DARPA, which said: “We underestimated the difficulty in achieving […]

Continue Reading

Discopter – what goes around comes around

Steve Trimble over on The DEW Line reveals Boeing has a DARPA contract to study a disk rotor high-speed rotorcraft. Like most things in aerospace these days, this is not a new idea. Swiss architect and designer George Vranek, on his diskrotor website, traces the concept of a circular rotor with retractable blades back to […]

Continue Reading

Tilt and fold – high-speed rotorcraft concept dusted off

Sources tell me DARPA is about to award Bell Boeing a small contract to study a stop-fold tiltrotor. Or restart studies, I should say, as both companies have previously looked at tiltrotors that stop and fold their rotors to go faster. In 1972, Bell tested a 25ft-diameter stop-fold rotor in a NASA Ames windtunnel. This […]

Continue Reading