A concept model of the revamped plane, which is called “Son of Blackbird,” was showcased at a showroom in Orlando, Florida. However, the plane has not been built yet and the company couldn’t provide a timeline for the project. The new spy jet will be a rival to Lockheed Martin’s spy plane, the SR-72.
The two models are capable of carrying out spy missions and even attacks. Boeing told the Aviation Week Aerospace Daily that the new model will take two steps to develop.
During the first stage, the company will conduct flight tests of an engine that is just a “proof of concept” for the time being. The next stage involves developing a twin-engine and incorporate it into a full-scale operational plane. The dimensions of the new plane will match those of the SR-71, i.e. it will be 107-foot-long.
Boeing Has Ambitious Plans
Boeing plans to build a plane that is faster even than the Mach 5 hypersonic jet which is five times faster than the speed of sound. Mach 1 flies at the speed of sound which is 767 mph or 1,235 km per hour.
So, Son of Bird will fly at a mind-blowing speed of 3,835 mph (or 6,174 km per hour). By contrast, a 700-passenger commercial plane travels at a maximum speed of 550 mph (885km per hour).
However, the SR-71’s successor will have to take off and land without the help of a human pilot, jutst like the initial model built in 1964.
Boeing engineers plan to first test a conventional engine to hit the speeds of Mach 3 and to use a different configuration to match the Mach 5. The company couldn’t unveil a date for a sky-ready plane.
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