It is no secret that Lockheed-Martin’s Skunkworks division has been hard at work developing a successor the SR-71 Blackbird even though they try to keep it a secret. There have been rumors of sightings of the fabled “SR-72” and conspiracy theories running around all over as Lockheed-Martin keeps quiet. But recently at an aviation trade show Boeing unveiled their concepts for an aircraft they called Son of Blackbird.
The model for Boeing’s new hypersonic aircraft made its debut at the AIAA Sci-Tech show. The “Son of Blackbird” is expected to travel more than five times the speed of sound when it put in action.
“What is the most affordable way to do a reusable hypersonic demonstrator vehicle?’ And we did our own independent research looking at this question.”
– Kevin Bowcutt (Cheif Scientist of Boeing Hypersonics)
The model demonstrated at the convention is an early concept and the design is still being refined before moving into a full-scale prototype. Boeing is relying heavily on studies conducted on their X-51 Hypersonic test vehicle to learn from its performance. You can check out the first glimpses of the Son of the Blackbird concept designs in the video clip linked here.