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Message posted by Vahe Demirjian (Member since 04/28/2022) on January 01, 2024 at 9:32:14 PST:

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

Last year saw the publication of the most up-to-date publication regarding the history of Area 51 and the nearby Tonopah Test Range, and I was very humbled to dig deep into the history of Lockheed design studies for hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft in the 1980s but the question of which company might win the NGAD competition because we now know that rumors about the US Air Force deploying a hypersonic spyplane in the late 1980s and early 1990s were unfounded (although this doesn't change the fact that Lockheed worked on late 1970s and 1980s designs for a hypersonic follow-on to the SR-71 that otherwise remained paper projects) and recent podcasts as well as comments by Frank Kendall have added to speculation as to whether the NGAD technology demonstrator flown in 2020 borrowed new technologies from an as-yet-undisclosed experimental aircraft tested in the mid-2020s.

I'm hoping this year that the US Air Force publicly discloses photos of test vehicles for the Northrop Grumman P-ISR unmanned flying wing informally called "RQ-180".

Best regards,


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