The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works revealed a hypersonic aircraft design that can take off and land conventionally using turbine-based combined-cycle engine technology. The company said it has been working with rocket propulsion specialists Aerojet for several years on the project, using company funds. Although the design could lead to a Mach 6 unmanned strike aircraft, Lockheed Martin has dubbed it the SR-72, after the company’s SR-71 Blackbird manned strategic reconnaissance aircraft that reached Mach 3 but was retired in 1997.
DARPA Falcon Project
Having carved out a reputation in the military field for high-performance actuators, auxiliary power units and other power/motion systems, Bental Industries is to take its expertise into the commercial field. This move was sparked by the takeover of Bental by environmental control system specialist TAT Technologies.
Premier Aircraft, a joint venture between West Star Aviation and Yankee Pacific Aerospace, has named Midcoast Aviation as an authorized distributor for 50Dash4 performance upgrades for Falcon 50 business jets. According to Premier, demand for the upgrade is accelerating as performance guarantees have been regularly exceeded in operational use.
Premier Aircraft brought two of its newly certified Dassault Falcon 50 Dash4s to the NBAA static display, the first time the modified Falcon 50 has been shown at an NBAA show.
Premier Aircraft of East Alton, Ill., continues to work with Honeywell on an engine upgrade program for the Falcon 50 expected to be completed in the third quarter of next year, several months later than originally planned.
Since the maiden flight of the Falcon 7X on May 5, the 5,700-nm-range trijet has been flying almost daily from Dassault’s flight- test center in Istres, France. By the middle of last month, the 7X had logged 45 hours during 15 flights and had reached Mach 0.82 and 41,000 feet.