Zothecula writes "When the last SR-71 Blackbird was grounded in 1998 it was a double blow. Not only did aviation lose one of the most advanced aircraft ever built, but also one of the most beautiful. Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has now revealed that it is building a successor to the Blackbird: the SR-72. Using a new hypersonic engine design that combines turbines and ramjets, the company says that the unmanned SR-72 will be twice as fast as its predecessor with a cruising speed of Mach 6."
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cold fjord writes "Aviation Week reports, 'Ever since Lockheed's unsurpassed SR-71 Blackbird was retired ... almost two decades ago, the perennial question has been: Will it ever be succeeded by a new-generation, higher-speed aircraft and, if so, when? That is, until now. After years of silence on the subject, Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has revealed exclusively to AW&ST details of long-running plans for what it describes as an affordable hypersonic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike platform that could enter development in demonstrator form as soon as 2018. Dubbed the SR-72, the twin-engine aircraft is designed for a Mach 6 cruise, around twice the speed of its forebear, and will have the optional capability to strike targets. Guided by the U.S. Air Force's long-term hypersonic road map, the SR-72 is designed to fill what are perceived by defense planners as growing gaps in coverage of fast-reaction intelligence by the plethora of satellites, subsonic manned and unmanned platforms meant to replace the SR-71.'"
Alsee writes "Center of flaming controversy across the Internet and here on Slashdot for claiming to travel 'Directly Downwind Faster Than The Wind, Powered Only By The Wind, Steady State' (DDWFTTW), the Blackbird is now up for auction on Ebay. It has been certified by the North American Land Sailing Association and Guinness World Records to have reached 2.8 times wind speed directly downwind and was subsequently modded to also achieve more than double windspeed directly upwind. It has been the subject of an MIT physics paper and was included as a model problem in the International Physics Olympiad, yet many still argue it would violate the laws of physics. Let the bidding (and debate) commence!"
DesScorp writes "'The human race is slowing down,' begins an article in the Wall Street Journal that laments the state of man's quest of aerial speed: we're going backwards. With the end of the Space Shuttle program, man is losing its fastest carrier of human beings (only single use moonshot rockets were faster). 'The shuttles' retirement follows the grounding over recent years of other ultra-fast people carriers, including the supersonic Concorde and the speedier SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. With nothing ready to replace them, our species is decelerating—perhaps for the first time in history,' the article notes. Astronauts are interviewed, and their sadness and disappointment is apparent. In the '60s and '70s, it was assumed that Mach 2+ airline travel would one day be cheap and commonplace. And now it seems that we, and our children, will fly no faster than our grandparents did in 707s. The last major attempt at faster commerical air travel — Boeing's Sonic Cruiser — was abandoned and replaced with the Dreamliner, an airliner designed from the ground up for fuel efficiency."
Shawnconna writes "Can a wind cart travel faster than the wind? A group of makers say, 'Yes!' Make: Online has published a story about the Blackbird wind cart that just set a record. This is a follow-up to an earlier story in which Charles Platt built a cart based on a viral video where a guy claimed he'd built a wind-powered vehicle that could travel downwind faster than the windspeed. Charles built one and said it didn't work. Heated debates broke out in forums, on BB, and elsewhere on the Net. In the ensuing time, a number of people have built carts and claimed success, most principally, Rick Cavallaro. He got funding from Google and JOBY to build and test a human-piloted cart. They claim success, with multiple sensor systems on board, impartial judges and experts in attendance."
zonker writes "Nearly 30 years ago Lockheed Martin's elite Skunk Works team developed what would become the F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter. A few of their earlier projects include the SR-71 Blackbird and U2 Dragon Lady spy planes. Today is the last for the Stealth Fighter, which is being replaced by the F-22 Raptor (another Skunk Works project)."
loralai writes "Recent breakthroughs in scramjet engines could mean two-hour flights from New York to Tokyo. This technology, decades in the making, could redefine our understanding of air travel and military encounters. 'To put things in context, the world's fastest jet, the Air Force's SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, set a speed record of Mach 3.3 in 1990 when it flew from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in just over an hour. That's about the limit for jet engines; the fastest fighter planes barely crack Mach 1.6. Scramjets, on the other hand, can theoretically fly as fast as Mach 15--nearly 10,000 mph.'"
Kadin2048 writes "According to an Air Force Times article, the famed Lockheed Martin 'Skunk Works' may be hard at work on a new supersonic spy plane (with 'artist concept') for the U.S. military, to replace the SR-71 'Blackbird' retired a decade ago. Dubbed by some the SR-72, the jet would be unmanned and travel at about 4,000 MPH at as much as 100,000 feet, with 'transcontinental' range. Some have speculated that new high-speed spy planes could be a U.S. response to anti-satellite weapons deployed by China, in order to preserve reconnaissance capabilities in the event of a loss of satellite coverage. Neither the Air Force nor Lockheed Martin would comment on the program, or lack thereof."
Blackbird writes "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has tested Nintendo's upcoming Nintendo DS revision, the Nintendo DS Lite, and has released the full test report on its website. Apart from the test results, a concept version of the user manual and photo's of the casing are available for download."
Golgo_13 writes: "Spindl3top released their latest community-generated Blackbird source today, pooling together some of the coolest free software-friendly components. Highlights include the project's ultracool trademark black cube, SMP with dual PIIIs @ 1GHz, SCSI @ 10000RPM, a Matrix-Orbital LCD panel (with lcdproc), a ThermoEngine (or optional Watercooler), and an ultra quiet PS from Enermax. Aside from being an ubergeek dream, it's for a good cause. They are selling them here for less than $2500 and all proceeds are being used toward Spindl3top going nonprofit. Since Spindl3top and the FSF have joined hands (first mentioned here by Lucas) to create the official, noncommercial GNU hardware/free software database, this is a very important cause IMHO."
You may remember a few weeks ago when we posed the question What is the greatest hacks. Well Derek Glidden has compiled the most popular selections from that discussion, and he presents below the winners. I was pretty surprised by some of the choices, but I think its a great list, with hacks spanning all sorts of areas of human creativity. Enjoy.
long-live-atari writes "Hard to categorize this under one subject. Found this link on NextGen regarding Motorola's announcement of their upcoming set-top box codenamed 'Blackbird'. This is the first high-profile commercial product (I believe) to be unveiled which uses the new Project X multimedia chipset by VMLabs. VMLabs was formed by a host of ex-Atari hardware/software engineers and managers soon after Atari's demise. This new 128-bit Project X chipset supposedly offers some prodigious perfomance."