[FoRK] archives: blackstar, the supposed two-stage spaceplane

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) < fork at ianbell.com > on > Tue Mar 7 16:02:30 PST 2006

On 7-Mar-06, at 3:16 PM, rst at ai.mit.edu wrote:

> Or it could be that the "stealth" aspect is taking priority over
> "speed".  Imagine a network of very high-altitude, highly stealthy
> drones, each capable of staying in the air for a week or more, but not
> particularly fast.

I think you've got it.

At sufficiently high altitudes you don't need to be speedy if you  
can't be detected.  And all truly stealthy aircraft aren't very fast,  
which indicates that speed is the natural enemy of stealth (see my  
last post).  The real challenge is for combat aircraft, where speed  
is desirable for quick-strike, dogfighting, and evasion; and where  
stealth is desirable for undetected ingress to the target.  Even when  
the capabilities exist on the same weapons platform, though, the  
concepts remain mutually exclusive.

-Ian.




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