Not so Fast

Severe Congressional funding cuts have caused DARPA to cancel its plans to pursue the Blackswift hypersonic flying test bed for the time being. Flight Global reported yesterday that the agency has said it would “not be possible” to continue the project given the Congressional decision to slash Blackswift’s $120 million funding profile in Fiscal 2009 down to $10 million. “Obviously, we are disappointed,” Steven Walker, DARPA program manager, told the magazine. DARPA’s goal for 2012 was to fly a Mach 6-capable reusable test aircraft that is powered by a combined-cycle propulsion system featuring a turbojet and supersonic combustion ramjet.