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Posted: 5/22/2005 2:57:33 PM EDT
I remember hearing about this supposed plane on the Discovery channel a couple of years back. What is the current theory as far as: 1. Does it exist? 2. Operational? 3. Purpose? 4. Engine tech? 5. C.I.A. or Air Force???


Same show said they found trails of paperwork indicating funding for Aroura.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:04:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:06:15 PM EDT
have you ever herd of the reported UFO's over Iran?
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:07:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Merrell:
This one?





Theoretically, yes.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:19:39 PM EDT
No hint at development as a strike aircraft or it being a spaceplane. 200,000 ft is not space/orbit is it?
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:24:18 PM EDT
As far as I read it or something like it has been flying for a few years, the concept is that a series of blast push it as it goes along and it leaves a unique trail sort of like this behind
<----0----0----0---0---
the 0s representing the explosions or whatever you label them that push it along.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:28:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By barkley-addict:
As far as I read it or something like it has been flying for a few years, the concept is that a series of blast push it as it goes along and it leaves a unique trail sort of like this behind
<----0----0----0---0---
the 0s representing the explosions or whatever you label them that push it along.




Yes a pulse-jet engine, leaves a unique contrail.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:34:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JBowles:
have you ever herd of the reported UFO's over Iran?



Fuck yeah baby! You know that pisses them off to no end.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:44:45 PM EDT
not certain if the pulse jet is the aurora but I think it is, but there are a few of them in skunkworks.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 6:19:12 PM EDT
They would not have retired the SR-71 if they didn't have something BETTER to replace it and the Aurora is(probably) it.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 6:29:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 6:31:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 6:32:31 PM EDT by giacutter]
Tell your North Korean spymasters that it does not exist and that it's not watching them this very second.


ETA: Ever notice how your scalp gets all hot and itchy when covered with tinfoil?

Link Posted: 5/22/2005 6:38:48 PM EDT
The USAF addmitted to its existence back in 1993 or 94 I read a one paragragh excerpt on the front page of a major newspaper in Denver.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 6:40:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By barkley-addict:
As far as I read it or something like it has been flying for a few years, the concept is that a series of blast push it as it goes along and it leaves a unique trail sort of like this behind
<----0----0----0---0---
the 0s representing the explosions or whatever you label them that push it along.



Donuts on a rope...the signature exhaust of a Pulse Wave Detonation Engine...it injects misted or atomized fuel into the apex of the hypersonic shockwave on the exterior of the aircraft, where it burns explosively, pushing the aircraft forward...it operates only at high Mach...at least 6-8 times the speed of sound.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 6:45:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mattl:
I remember hearing about this supposed plane on the Discovery channel a couple of years back. What is the current theory as far as: 1. Does it exist? 2. Operational? 3. Purpose? 4. Engine tech? 5. C.I.A. or Air Force???


Same show said they found trails of paperwork indicating funding for Aroura.



Don't worry, your government is taking good care of you. You can do your part by paying your taxes on time and encouraging your Senators and Congressmen to approve 110% of classified and unspecified line items in the budget.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 7:04:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By Mattl:
I remember hearing about this supposed plane on the Discovery channel a couple of years back. What is the current theory as far as: 1. Does it exist? 2. Operational? 3. Purpose? 4. Engine tech? 5. C.I.A. or Air Force???


Same show said they found trails of paperwork indicating funding for Aroura.



Don't worry, your government is taking good care of you. You can do your part by paying your taxes on time and encouraging your Senators and Congressmen to approve 110% of classified and unspecified line items in the budget.




I know USAF personel that say they have seen it, one said he refueled it. I seriously doubt that it does not exists. You almost never scrap a weapon without a replacement(see CMJohnson) I am quite sure it does. But with this gigantic jump in tech available for mil. use in the early 90's why is NASA spending billions on like propulsion systems we already have.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 3:35:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2005 12:36:15 PM EDT by Merlin]
Read "An Embarrassment of Riches" in this link. Doubtful that Aurora exists: no known data "take" from an air-breathing platform. SR replacement isn't a slam dunk either: The highest ranking supporter for the SR program within the USAF died in an air crash several years ago. Therefore, it became easier to kill off a program that wasn't doing the USAF any good.

Got more, but I'm at work and the boss is now in the office, gotta go!

Link:

www.fas.org/irp/mystery/continue.htm

Merlin
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 3:38:17 AM EDT
I am sure it's true and in 20 years we will think nothing of it. It will become just like the B2. It might be neat in all but it will no longer have the aww effect.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 3:49:29 AM EDT
I would think that a replacement for the SR71 was on the mind of our military planners the day the first SR71 met it's mission objectives in testing. To think that we couldn't have a new aircraft that was several orders of magnitude better than an SR-71 is not really a stretch.... The SR71 was designed, what, 50 years ago with slide-rules and calculators? It's a badass plane if there ever was one, but it's not the best we're capable of today, or even 25 years ago.

If you've ever seen an SR-71 up close, they look a little rough and unfinished. With today's technology and manufacturing techniques we could go a WHOLE lot better.

And I'll bet we have.

Dave

BTW: I used to fly model airplanes with a cowerker in the mid-90's. His son was regularly guarding a hangar in Nevada that had the Aurora in it, or at least that's what he (the son) alluded to.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 4:05:48 AM EDT
interesting the responses you get here. Stuff we have all seen on Discovery or TLS and the "my friend, who-is-breaking-national-security-by-telling-everyone-he-put-air-in-the tires-of-the-Aurora" Which turns out to be a weather balloon.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 7:19:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 7:37:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Do you REALLY think that we hit our technological peak with the creation of the SR-71 and we've never yet built anything that could do its job better than it could?
Me, neither.
Of course we have secret aircraft! We always have, and we always will.



I'm inclined to agree. A friend's dad, who was a long time active duty & reserve senior EM in the Army, told me years ago that any Buck Rogers military stuff I ever heard about might not actually be obsolete, but I could rest assured that it was at least ten years old and that something better was either being tested or in use.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 7:46:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2005 7:56:37 AM EDT by mfingar]
Put the tinfoil away.

The company I work for designed and built the first three proven hypersonic vehicles…X-43A "Hyper-X", to name one...Hypersonic Artillery rounds to name another. The founders of the company were the pioneers in hypersonic testing and even coined the name SCRAMJET. We have been part of every USAF, NASA & DARPA-funded Scramjet program. I don’t believe Aurora exists in the way you think it does (If it does exist, It certainly can't go hypersonic).

The SR71 was replaced with the modernized U2. With UAVs like Global Hawk and Hummingbird (30,000 ft ceiling & 24-hour, unmanned endurance), there's really no need to have a high-speed secret spyplane. The closest thing we have to a "Spaceplane" is the X-43C...currently underway.

There are some wild designs being tested...most are subsonic, stealthy, and unmanned. Like the Darkstar, or the JUCAS.

I would really love to be wrong.


ETA...keep in mind that our current hypersonic vehicles' leading edges and surfaces ablate (melt away) within minutes at hypersonic speeds. This is with the most heat-resistant materials known to man (aerogels, carbon-carbons, etc.) "Crusing" at Mach 5 is a fairytale.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 8:19:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 8:38:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2005 8:39:00 AM EDT by Forest]

Originally Posted By mfingar:
ETA...keep in mind that our current hypersonic vehicles' leading edges and surfaces ablate (melt away) within minutes at hypersonic speeds. This is with the most heat-resistant materials known to man (aerogels, carbon-carbons, etc.) "Crusing" at Mach 5 is a fairytale.



I thought our most commonly known 'Hypersonic' vehicle used heat tiles...




It is during reentry that atmospheric hypersonic flight conditions appear. The Shuttle reaches Mach numbers above 10 and surface temperatures of 11,000° F (6,000° C), which are handled by the ceramic tiles that coat the orbiter, before it encounters the dense air that produces aerodynamic drag that helps it slow and land.


From: http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Theories_of_Flight/Hypersonics/TH23.htm
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 8:51:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By mfingar:
ETA...keep in mind that our current hypersonic vehicles' leading edges and surfaces ablate (melt away) within minutes at hypersonic speeds. This is with the most heat-resistant materials known to man (aerogels, carbon-carbons, etc.) "Crusing" at Mach 5 is a fairytale.



I thought our most commonly known 'Hypersonic' vehicle used heat tiles...

www.aerospaceweb.org/question/spacecraft/buran/buran-tiles.jpg


It is during reentry that atmospheric hypersonic flight conditions appear. The Shuttle reaches Mach numbers above 10 and surface temperatures of 11,000° F (6,000° C), which are handled by the ceramic tiles that coat the orbiter, before it encounters the dense air that produces aerodynamic drag that helps it slow and land.




From: http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Theories_of_Flight/Hypersonics/TH23.htm





At that speed, the Shuttle basically becomes an uncontrollable ball of flame (like a meteor)

It's not designed to accelerate, and the tiles are VERY inefficient from a "drag" perspective. They actually help slow the vehicle down,
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 8:56:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lancelot:
In the Tin Foil zone....

www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/aurora.html

images.abovetopsecret.com/aurora.gif

images.abovetopsecret.com/csection.gif






This machine is a still born Phantom Works project dating to 1992. The idea was to build a low cost demonstrator for atmospheric flight with a substructure common to both a subsonic version (hence the turbojets seen in the drawing) and a high supersonic version, the difference being different outer moldline materials and scramjets.

This was a serious pipe dream of an out of control VP, and the project was never finished; one of the forebody skins stuck to the bond tool, and that was the end of an ill conceived project. The taxpayers didn't get billed for this one.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 9:11:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mfingar:
It's not designed to accelerate, and the tiles are VERY inefficient from a "drag" perspective. They actually help slow the vehicle down,



No doubt, but they are handling the heat w/o ablating. Could not they (or similar materials) be adapted for the leading edges of hypersonic aircraft? I know we (the labe where I work) do Mach 6 wind tunnel tests using Saphire based nose cones for missles. So there have got to be materials (however expensive) that can take it for more than a few minutes.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 9:50:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By mfingar:
It's not designed to accelerate, and the tiles are VERY inefficient from a "drag" perspective. They actually help slow the vehicle down,



No doubt, but they are handling the heat w/o ablating. Could not they (or similar materials) be adapted for the leading edges of hypersonic aircraft? I know we (the labe where I work) do Mach 6 wind tunnel tests using Saphire based nose cones for missles. So there have got to be materials (however expensive) that can take it for more than a few minutes.



The tiles on the shuttle are thick and follow a very rounded contour on the bulbous leading edges (the re-entry angle of attack exposes the bottom, more than the leading edges). On a conventional airfoil the leading edges need to be as sharp as possible, or the aircraft will have an aerodynamic challenge speeding up to hypersonic speeds (without the aid of a booster, like the shuttle...or Hyper-X). Any exposed edge..like a tile edge...will add drag & increase the opportunity of the "zipper effect", where a tiny opening gets ripped open under massive speed.

We have tunnels that test up to Mach 30 (hypervelocity) & test leading edge materials all the time. Carbon-carbon seems to be the best solution right now.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 10:38:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mfingar:

We have tunnels that test up to Mach 30 (hypervelocity) & test leading edge materials all the time. Carbon-carbon seems to be the best solution right now.



But what about aircraft in the Mach 4-6 range? Mach 10 (the shuttle) is certainly overkill, as would be Mach 30 (I can't imagine how we'd get aircraft - manned or otherwise - up to that velocity).
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 10:57:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JBowles:
have you ever herd of the reported UFO's over Iran?



Those are ours.

Here's a picture: link



Link Posted: 5/23/2005 11:24:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2005 11:24:53 AM EDT by JIMBEAM]
I thought you meant Aurora Snow, sorry, my bad.

Link Posted: 5/23/2005 11:24:44 AM EDT
Current rumor has it that there WAS an Aurora, but it was a failure and was never built beyond a prototype.

You'll notice that all the reports of the "beads on a string" vapor trails stopped some years ago.

Apparently, it was decided that we could build a multi-billion dollar aircraft that would be at risk of loss every time it went over hostile territory, OR we could use cheap, unmanned drone and robot aircraft like the Global Hawk which are almost impossible to spot, risk no crew, and can't be traced to us if they're lost.

Plus the drones get better pictures due to the lower altitudes, can linger over the target longer, and can drop down to low altitudes to "sniff" for radiation or chemical/biological material, without being detected.

Finally, if you do get a chance at something, a drone can be armed.

Link Posted: 5/23/2005 11:35:32 AM EDT
Yeah, they had a replacement in mind when they got rid of the SR-71, it's called satelittes and UAVs.

The SR-71 was extremely expensive to operate, difficult to fly (I believe it was landing it that was very difficult) and put the crew at risk everytime it went over enemy territory. Why bother when we have satelittes that can penetrate the earth with x ray, infared, thermal, and all that jazz?

The Aurora plane: Is it possible the military has something like it? Possibly. But why? What would be the point? Satelittes can handle all of that needs.

Link Posted: 5/23/2005 11:57:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:
Yeah, they had a replacement in mind when they got rid of the SR-71, it's called satelittes and UAVs.

The SR-71 was extremely expensive to operate, difficult to fly (I believe it was landing it that was very difficult) and put the crew at risk everytime it went over enemy territory. Why bother when we have satelittes that can penetrate the earth with x ray, infared, thermal, and all that jazz?

The Aurora plane: Is it possible the military has something like it? Possibly. But why? What would be the point? Satelittes can handle all of that needs.




Not quite. Satallites have a predictable orbit and run on a schedule. It would be very easy for enemy forces to hide anything they don't want seen during one of those satellite windows. The US and USSR did just that during the sold war. A manned vehicle like the Aurora can unpredictably make a pass over a suspected area any time that we please rather than when the enemy expects it. The U2 has the same short comings as it is able to be detected in advance of its pass over the target.

Those are the reasons that the SR-71 remained in service as long as it did, there was and is simply nothing in the known arsenal that is able to replace it. That is why it makes more sense that there is a secret aircraft like the Aurora in service. Perhaps not flying at Mach 6+, but we certainly have the capability for Mach4-6 flight as it stands right now. The SR flew at Mach 3.5 on 40+ year old technology so it wouldn't be much of a strech to believe.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 9:07:47 PM EDT
The Aurora plane: Is it possible the military has something like it? Possibly. But why? What would be the point?

if they have done away with it as a concept of a particular aircraft with a vivable role in present or not so distant times, my guess is they still attempt to push the limits of what's out there even way ahead of such a craft or weapons time just because they can and because of the learning potential in doing so.

Link Posted: 5/23/2005 10:16:40 PM EDT
The Aurora line item was in reference to one particular stage of developement of what evolved into the B2 "Stealth Bomber". When that developement stage was complete, the Aurora monicker ceasted to exist. The leaking of the "Aurora" name may of even been delibrate to misdirect attention away from other projects ongoing at that time.

And while it's fun to bandy Mach numbers about, the next technology jump may be in the areas of manuverability, stealth, altitude capability or low speed capability. Imagine a craft that could take off, climb to the upper edge of the atmosphere, (or above) get over the target, then essentially "hover" there. And do it all while being invisable to prying eyes, ears or radar.

On the other hand, the really spooky shit may be currently sitting idle due to the current political/military situation. Or at least the development may be stalled.

Why spend resources on a high tech airplane when your enemy is riding a donkey around Pakistan?

Link Posted: 5/23/2005 10:27:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Arc-Lite:
The Aurora line item was in reference to one particular stage of developement of what evolved into the B2 "Stealth Bomber". When that developement stage was complete, the Aurora monicker ceasted to exist. The leaking of the "Aurora" name may of even been delibrate to misdirect attention away from other projects ongoing at that time.

And while it's fun to bandy Mach numbers about, the next technology jump may be in the areas of manuverability, stealth, altitude capability or low speed capability. Imagine a craft that could take off, climb to the upper edge of the atmosphere, (or above) get over the target, then essentially "hover" there. And do it all while being invisable to prying eyes, ears or radar.

On the other hand, the really spooky shit may be currently sitting idle due to the current political/military situation. Or at least the development may be stalled.

Why spend resources on a high tech airplane when your enemy is riding a donkey around Pakistan?



Ever heard of North Korea???? Or China??? Or Iran, Cuba, Colombia, and Syria and Saudi Arabia???? All of these places are unfreindly or are run by unfreindlies.


Link Posted: 5/23/2005 10:30:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By mfingar:
ETA...keep in mind that our current hypersonic vehicles' leading edges and surfaces ablate (melt away) within minutes at hypersonic speeds. This is with the most heat-resistant materials known to man (aerogels, carbon-carbons, etc.) "Crusing" at Mach 5 is a fairytale.



I thought our most commonly known 'Hypersonic' vehicle used heat tiles...




It is during reentry that atmospheric hypersonic flight conditions appear. The Shuttle reaches Mach numbers above 10 and surface temperatures of 11,000° F (6,000° C), which are handled by the ceramic tiles that coat the orbiter, before it encounters the dense air that produces aerodynamic drag that helps it slow and land.


From: http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Theories_of_Flight/Hypersonics/TH23.htm



Thats the Russian Buran space shuttle.
It flew once I believe.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 10:38:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By mfingar:
ETA...keep in mind that our current hypersonic vehicles' leading edges and surfaces ablate (melt away) within minutes at hypersonic speeds. This is with the most heat-resistant materials known to man (aerogels, carbon-carbons, etc.) "Crusing" at Mach 5 is a fairytale.



I thought our most commonly known 'Hypersonic' vehicle used heat tiles...

www.aerospaceweb.org/question/spacecraft/buran/buran-tiles.jpg


It is during reentry that atmospheric hypersonic flight conditions appear. The Shuttle reaches Mach numbers above 10 and surface temperatures of 11,000° F (6,000° C), which are handled by the ceramic tiles that coat the orbiter, before it encounters the dense air that produces aerodynamic drag that helps it slow and land.


From: http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Theories_of_Flight/Hypersonics/TH23.htm



Thats the Russian Buran space shuttle.
It flew once I believe.




If by flew you mean in space, yes once. It flew within the atmosphere a few times usually released off the back of a plane. Google Antonov 225 that is the real story behind the Buran.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 10:58:26 PM EDT
Aircraft have been spotted over Fallujah, during the taking of the city, that are classified. They were slow moving and triangular in shape, and made no sound. These were not the Aurora, some have speculated that they were the TR-3B.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 8:04:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:

Thats the Russian Buran space shuttle.
It flew once I believe.



You are correct - but I had a bear of a time finding a nice shot of the US Shuttle showing tiles on the internet.
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:20:56 AM EDT
Do a Google for "pulse jet". You won't find a pulse jet in any modern aircraft. (And they've been around forever.)
Link Posted: 5/24/2005 11:26:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Arc-Lite:
The Aurora line item was in reference to one particular stage of developement of what evolved into the B2 "Stealth Bomber". When that developement stage was complete, the Aurora monicker ceasted to exist. The leaking of the "Aurora" name may of even been delibrate to misdirect attention away from other projects ongoing at that time.




Yup…

ANdy
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