The future of high-speed aircraft: SR-72 Darkstar

Lockheed Martin could be closer to making the SR-72 “Darkstar,” the successor to the legendary SR-71 Blackbird, a reality. Although the Darkstar is currently only a theory, it could become a reality in the next decade.

The Legacy of the SR-71 Blackbird

The SR-71 Blackbird, still the world’s fastest manned aircraft, set a record in 1976 by reaching speeds in excess of Mach 3.2. Even modern fifth-generation jets like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F-22 Raptor can’t match their speed.

SR-72: The possible hypersonic successor

The Darkstar SR-72, also known as the Blackbird 2.0, could be the next breakthrough in speed. Lockheed Martin has hinted that development of the Darkstar could be underway, raising expectations among aviation enthusiasts and military experts.

Lockheed Martin’s plans

Lockheed Martin has been working on hypersonic technologies for years. In 2013, they officially presented the SR-72 concept and have been discussing the possibility of building a demonstration aircraft ever since to test the technologies required for the hypersonic design.

The Darkstar would be capable of speeds of Mach 6.0, but there is currently no payload that can be deployed at that speed. However, Lockheed Martin is leading the way in this area and could open up new possibilities for high-speed weapons and sensors.

The Future of military aviation

Lockheed program manager Brad Leland has noted that hypersonic aircraft and hypersonic missiles could be a game changers in the theater of war. Speed ​​would become the next aviation breakthrough to counter emerging threats for decades to come.

Frequent questions

What is the record speed of the SR-71 Blackbird?

The SR-71 Blackbird set a world record in 1976 by reaching speeds in excess of Mach 3.2.

When could the SR-72 Darkstar be a reality?

According to some experts, the future of the SR-72 Darkstar could begin to unfold in 2025.

What capabilities could the Darkstar SR-72 have?

Although the information is limited, the Darkstar SR-72 is expected to be capable of speeds of Mach 6.0. However, there are currently no payloads that can be deployed at that rate.