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The HyperSoar was an American hypersonic aircraft project developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory engineer Preston Carter.


It would be capable of flying at around Mach 12 (9200 MPH - 14700 km/h), allowing it to transit between any two points on the globe in under two hours. The HyperSoar is predicted to be a passenger plane capable of skipping outside the atmosphere to prevent it from overheating and burning up in the atmosphere. A trip from Chicago to Tokyo (10,123 kilometers) would take 18 skips, or 72 minutes. To travel from Los Angeles to New York (3,978 kilometers) would involve about 5 skips and take 35 minutes. Both flights require a total of about 2,450 kilometers and 27 minutes for take off and landing, meaning that it would take 8 minutes in the air for LA to NY and 45 for Chicago to Tokyo. According to plans, it would use hydrocarbon-based engines instead of hydrogen-based ones outside the atmosphere, as well as experimental jet engine technology. The project was expected to begin testing by 2010.

Incorporation into the Falcon project[edit]

Although reports continued to reference the press releases (in 1998 and repeated in 2000), no development in the project was forthcoming. The Hypersoar concept was acquired from LLNL by DARPA,[1] and in 2002 it was combined with the USAF X-41 Common Aero Vehicle to form the Falcon program.[2]


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