Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

£189m Hypersonic aircraft gets lost

bird-hero.png
and-thisHERO.jpg

We'd do a lot to get our mitts on a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels, but unfortunately unless we want to take out a second mortgage or head over to the US, it's surprisingly hard to get hold of the salty/sweet snack here. So imagine our joy when we heard that in the future, flying from London to New York could take a mere 17 minutes. Then again, that was before the mission to launch the test aircraft was fluffed.

The unmanned £189million ($300m) Falcon HTV-2 vehicle took its maiden voyage in April and was set for its second attempt in a bid to reach speeds of up to 13,000 miles per hour - Mach 20 (20 times the speed of sound).

But, despite hopes that this time the aircraft would manage to go beyond the previous record of a 9-minute flight, the plan didn't go quite to, er, plan.

After the aircraft separated from the Minotaur IV Light rocket, which carried it up to the edge of space before beginning its return to Earth, it got lost. Although the official line was that 20 minutes into the journey the aircraft went silent during the gliding stage of the test flight.

Too soon for 'Dude where's my rocket?' jokes?

Images: Rex

Related

47_spacelunar2widev1osp.jpg

Small-scale space travel

space image 1.jpg

Photos from space

4 (9).jpg

Amazing underwater pics

Comments

More

Writer AA Gill dies of cancer aged 62

The news comes just weeks after revealing his condition in a restaurant review

by Joe Ellison
10 Dec 2016

A 99-million-year-old dinosaur tail has been found in a piece of amber

To echo, Partridge: "Jurassic Park!"

by Emily Badiozzaman
09 Dec 2016

Youngest in your family? Then you're officially the funniest

by Jamie Carson
09 Dec 2016

Donald Trump just gave WWE's Linda McMahon a job in his cabinet

Because of course he did

08 Dec 2016

Bob Dylan announces UK dates for 2017 arena tour

You have six chances to see the icon

by Emily Badiozzaman
08 Dec 2016

Over 120,000 Leave voters have died since Brexit

New data shows the influence the dead have had on the UK's future

by Tristan Cross
08 Dec 2016

Did you miss this devilish detail on Donald Trump's TIME cover?

One hell of a magazine cover

08 Dec 2016

Russell Tovey talks football taboos, showbiz friends and facial hair

ShortList chat to the actor about fame, films and, erm, dog piss

by Ralph Jones
08 Dec 2016

Giraffes facing 'silent extinction' as population drops by 30%

Numbers have fallen by 30% in just 30 years

by Jamie Carson
08 Dec 2016

TIME's new Donald Trump interview is very, very worrying

Just when you thought he'd changed...

by Emily Badiozzaman
07 Dec 2016