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The Air Force is preparing to test its Mach 10 speedster, the unmanned Falcon hypersonic test vehicle that will pave the way for jets that can fly faster than a bat out of hell on their way to spying on everyone, dropping bombs and even slinging satellites into orbit.

Expected to first fly in 2008, its creators at Lockheed Martin and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are putting the final touches on its propulsion system, where the trick is transitioning between jet turbine engines, which work up to Mach 4, and scramjets for higher speeds.


This is one lightning-fast jet, fully three times faster than its predecessor, the SR-71 Blackbird. We were only waiting for this moment to arise, when one day this technology might find its way into passenger planes.

Falcon Fills Blackbird's Shoes [DefenseTech]