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


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:



Yes, you have well read. This unbelievable story happened on a commercial aircraft, on a red-eye flight (a flight taking off late at night and landing early the next morning) from Seattle to Anchorage a month ago. Video report – it starts with basket-ball players, then these flights stories:



The incident happened at Dallas Airport on Sunday 24 July 2011. An American Airlines Boeing 777-200 apparently had an engine fire just after takeoff, and was forced to make a U-turn and dump fuel before performing an emergency landing. You can hear the pilot’s voice in the video hereafter as well as a part of the transcript: