Boeing, among others, has worked on advanced combined cycle turbine engine (TBCC) configurations that mix ramjets or scramjets with more traditional jet turbines. These latter engines can then provide propulsion at lower revs. Reliable TBCC engines that can be produced on a large scale and at reasonable costs are seen as a key catalyst for future viable hypersonic aircraft designs that could take off and land using existing runway infrastructure.
In 2016, former Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson said it would take around $ 1 billion to produce a fighter-sized reusable hypersonic demonstration aircraft. Boeing’s Valkyrie concept has been widely seen as a direct response to Lockheed Martin’s unusually public discussion between 2016 and 2017 about a proposed unmanned reusable hypersonic military aircraft called the SR-72 that would be capable of performing missions. intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike missions. There are strong indications of significant progress in the development of advanced scramjet technology since then.
“We will not speculate on future US government requirements for this technology,” Boeing said in a statement to The war zone when asked if his latest hypersonic concept targeted US government requirements, such as the US Air Force’s Project Mayhem. Details on Mayhem, which you can read more about here, remain limited, but it relates to work on TBCC engines and research demonstrators of hypersonic aircraft with ISR and strike capabilities.
Boeing Research & Technology is publicly known to be involved in at least one commercial hypersonic aircraft venture, through its Australian subsidiary. This project, on which he is working with Hypersonix Launch Systems, also based in Australia, focuses on the development of a mother aircraft capable of serving as a flying platform for launching payloads into space.