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 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:



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: