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Shockwaves Caused Crash of DARPA Hypersonic AircraftShockwaves Caused Crash of DARPA Hypersonic Aircraft

Elizabeth Montalbano

April 26, 2012

1 Min Read
Shockwaves Caused Crash of DARPA Hypersonic Aircraft

Stronger than expected shockwaves on the outer shell of a hypersonic vehicle designed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) caused it to crash during a test flight last year, an independent engineering review board (ERB) has concluded.

DARPA's Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) successfully flew nearly 13,000mph for about three minutes in its second test flight on August 11 before its safety system sent it crashing into the Pacific Ocean nine minutes into the flight. Shockwaves, 100 times more than the vehicle was designed to withstand, peeled off portions of the aircraft's thermal shell, causing the early flight termination, the ERB said after a seven-month analysis of data collected from the flight.


About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Montalbano

Elizabeth Montalbano has been a professional journalist covering the telecommunications, technology and business sectors since 1998. Prior to her work at Design News, she has previously written news, features and opinion articles for Phone+, CRN (now ChannelWeb), the IDG News Service, Informationweek and CNNMoney, among other publications. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she also has lived and worked in Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco and New York City. She currently resides in Lagos, Portugal. Montalbano has a bachelor's degree in English/Communications from De Sales University and a master's degree from Arizona State University in creative writing.

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