New-York to Los Angeles in 12 minutes… It would have been a record-breaker, had it worked:

The DARPA and USAF FALCON project might give anybody the thrill of speed as this « aerospacecraft » has been designed to reach Mach 20 i.e. around 20,000 km/h; 5.6 km/s; 10,800 knots; or 12,400 mph depending on the air temperature, and the altitude which might be above at least FL900!

DARPA USAF FALCON HTV-2 hypersonic aerospacecraft - 22 April 2011
DARPA HTV-2 - 22 April 2011 ---- Photo: DARPA, US Federal Government

Unfortunately, the project seems to encounter major difficulties as the last test which unfolded on August 11, 2011 failed again. The previous one – also on an HTV2 – had failed in April. Click on the right-hand side picture to get further information on the first test. The Blackswift (HTV-3X)  had been designed by ATK; Boeing; Lockheed Martin; and Skunk Works to provided a strategic strike anywhere in the world within an hour. It was cancelled due to a lack of funds (see the HTV-3 shown in the following video):



  • DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • FALCON stands for Force Application and Launch from CONtinental United States
  • FL stands for Flight Level (FL x 100ft = altitude)
  • HTV stands for Hypersonic Test Vehicle or Hypersonic Technology Vehicle
  • RCS means here in the videos: Reaction Control System (and not Radar Cross Section)

Click on the picture below, and then on the blue arrows to watch the different phases of light:

Flight Overview slide, MACH-20 DARPA AEROSPACECRAFT
Flight Overview slide - Interactive picture: DARPA, U.S. Federal Government


Rio-Paris Flight 447 Crash – INTERESTING Point of View particularly on Highly AUTOMATED AIRCRAFT

Watch and listen carefully to Mr. Learmount’s point of view which has been deemed to be of considerable interest as far as the 2009 AF 447 crash is concerned. Please notice that there are interesting acronyms such as GIGO (Garbage in – Garbage out), and LOC – if it is well known as « Loss of Consciousness » – means « Loss of Control » here. Special thanks to Xavier Cotton (Passion pour l’aviation webmaster) who has found out this video:


Rio-Paris AF 447 crash – Incomplete investigation report

Regarding the 2009 Air France Rio-Paris crash, and according to the BEA investigation, it seemed to show a lack of training. But it now seems to be more complicated- it turns up that the elements of the report on the investigation were actually incomplete. This scoop – according to this France24 video – comes from the French paper La Tribune. Several elements would have been taken out of this report, and more importantly an element about a malfunctioning stall alarm:


BOEING 787 Dreamliner maiden flight to JAPAN

It was the first time a Boeing B-787 Dreamliner had taken off for Japan. The Japanese ANA – All Nippon Airways – has ordered 40 Boeing B-787-8; and 15 B-787-9. This video was shot a month ago as the wide-body jet airliner departed from Seattle on July 3, 2011:


Rio-Paris Flight 447 Crash Analysis

Special thanks to Thierry Hermas who teaches English radiotelephony at the French Air Force Academy (EOAA Salon de Provence). Indeed, he has analyzed, and compiled some extracts of the Air France Flight 447 reports issued by the BEA (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile – Flight safety investigations and analyses bureau for training purposes.

CLICK HERE (updated):                        

Images and publications of Rio-Paris crash

Another update – 2012 FINAL REPORT OF RIO-PARIS FLIGHT 447


In addition to this document, Mr Hermas suggested two videos about the Rio-Paris crash which happened on June 1, 2009. The video hereafter is the first of a series of four:

The second video is available here:

Here is another video about a few extracts of the cockpit audio transcript translated into English: