August 02, 2006

Hypersonic aircraft

Here is a pdf with a detailed hypersonic aircraft proposal. It also has a lot of background information on scramjets and hypersonic aircraft


Michael Anissimov said...

Damn, nice find. The potential of these craft for 'defense' applications makes me incredibly nervous.

bw said...

I actually think the military implications are less interesting. They basically would assure air superiority for those who have get it. But those who will get it already have air superiority. So 15-30 years on the hypersonic replacement for the F22 comes along. Important but not game changing just keeping the game balance the same at faster speeds. Hypersonic missiles I do not think are faster than ICBMs.

My hope is that it can be one of the ways that orbital space launches get cheaper and more reliable. Get orbital launch down below $100 per kg.

There is the business market study for CEOs to have their company pay for hypersonic transport because they are so important/valuable and have the hyperego. There is also the market for 2 hour delivery of components to keep your megamillion or billion factory going. Although that will compete with better logistics software and management so you screw up less often and with less cost.

Although they are making good progress now, I think the first few years and maybe a decade or two. Operational costs and maintenance will have surprises. This is the bleeding edge and reliability will be questionable. All the supercomputer calcs and supermaterials are just so you can do it. Next generations of tech are needed and experience running them are needed so that you can figure out reliability.