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Second failed flight of DARPA HTV2 was caught on video

first_imgThere are times when things do not go according to plan. DARPA knows this all too well. The prototype Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) failed its second test flight after having failed the first one. The HTV-2 disappeared without a trace during the first flight. A video of the second failed flight has been released.The HTV-2 is an unmanned, experimental aircraft that is designed to drop a bomb anywhere in the world. A Minotaur IV Lite launch vehicle takes the HTV-2 into space and releases it. The HTV-2 then reenters the atmosphere and follows a path until it lands in the ocean. Its top speed is Mach 20, twenty times the speed of sound. To give a sense of how fast the HTV-2 is, it can fly from Los Angeles to New York City in less than 12 minutes.The HTV-2’s first test flight occurred last year. The flight lasted nine minutes before DARPA lost contact with the aircraft. Despite the failure, the test flight proved that the HTV-2 is capable of flying 3.6 miles per second while maintaining GPS signals.The second test flight occurred on August 11 of this year. The flight lasted nine minutes before DARPA lost contact with the aircraft following the glide phase. DARPA had 22 stations set up along the HTV-2’s flight path to collect data. The video that was uploaded to YouTube on August 24 was taken by a crewmember on one of the monitoring vessels.The minute long video captures the reentry portion of the HTV-2’s second run. According to DARPA, the second flight failed for different reasons than the first. The August 11 flight was intended to help researchers better understand hypersonic flight, but unfortunately, the craft is still MIA.It’s interesting that a super-fast bomber failed two consecutive test flights. As technology advances, the ways in which people kill each other become thoroughly more refined. Perhaps there’s a reason the HTV-2 has failed twice. For now, DARPA should probably find its missing aircraft before it moves forward with more research.Aviation Week via SlashGearlast_img read more