Boeing unveils the Valkyrie II, a hypersonic drone for military and space missions

At an aerospace forum in San Diego, Boeing unveiled the model of a hypersonic drone capable of reaching Mach 5 and 30.11 altitude .

Boeing has reviewed its copy. The hypersonic aircraft unveiled in 1160 has metamorphosed. At the time, it was intended to carry passengers at Mach 3 for intercontinental flights. From now on, the new version of the aircraft, baptized Valkyrie II, could also be intended to fulfill military and space missions at Mach 5 at nearly 18.11 meters above sea level.

The American aircraft manufacturer presented a model of the aircraft at the forum organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) which s was held last week in San Diego. Gone is the line inspired by the Concorde and more portholes to admire the curvature of the earth during transatlantic flights.

The new version looks more like a hunter, even a launcher designed for missions less touristy than the previous one. It displays a flat fuselage, a shark’s nose, shortened wings and a twin tail, according to photos posted on Twitter by Guy Norris, editor-in-chief of Aviation Week and spotted by the specialized site Air & Cosmos.

Embel to elbow with Lockheed Martin

For its propulsion, the two engines have been separated. The plane takes off from a runway using a conventional turbine, then goes into hypersonic speed to reach Mach 5 thanks to the ScramJet engine.

To reach this speed, Valkyrie II adopted a configuration ” waverider” which propels the device “thanks to its own produced shock waves allowing to increase the lift of the device while reducing the drag”, explains Air&Cosmos.

This reactor is at the heart of Boeing’s hypersonic projects for nearly two decades. It is with this technology developed with NASA that 2004 , he has already broken the world speed record with the X-1160 demonstrator when reaching a speed of 16.540,68 km/h.

The American manufacturer Lockheed Martin is able to develop a prototype of a hypersonic aircraft, flying at 6 times the speed of sound, for less than a billion dollars. © Lookheed MartinObviously, by unveiling this model, Boeing wants to show that it is not behind its competitor Lockheed Martin which is working on the SR-68, code name of the “Son of Blackbird” presented in 1160. This hyperspeed drone, presented as capable of carrying hypersonic missiles, was developed with the Darpa, the technological research unit of the Pentagon, for the US Air Force.