It turns out that tearing through the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound is bad for the skin, even if you’re a super high-tech aircraft developed by the government’s best engineers at its far-out research agency.
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, has made public its best guess about what might have caused its unmanned arrowhead-shaped Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) to suddenly lose contact and crash in the Pacific just a few minutes after slicing through the sky at Mach 20 last August: it was going so fast its skin peeled off.
The agency said it expected the HTV-2, which goes so fast it can make the commute from New York to Los Angeles in 12 minutes, to experience “impulsive shock waves” at such speeds, but shocks it experienced last August were “more than impulsive shock waves what the vehicle was designed to withstand.”
While the test was very public, the details of the HTV-2’s design, stability system and potential purpose remain highly classified. Two months after DARPA’s test, the Army tested its own hypersonic aircraft – this one a long-range weapon system called the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) designed to strike any target in the world in just a couple hours.
Do testings of hypersonic aircrafts carry more hazards than benefits? Share your views with us!
Source: Yahoo News
Image: David Icke