Rumors about ‘Aurora’, a hypersonic spy plane stemmed from the mid 1980’s, but there is still no substantial evidence that it actually exists. The US government has continually denied such an aircraft was ever built. In 1990 an aviation magazine spotted that the term ‘Aurora’ had been included in the 1985 US budget with $455 million set aside for “black aircraft production”.
A lot of people have reported sighting of an unidentified triangular aircraft with odd shaped vapour trails and sonic booms. If this aircraft actually exists, it would be a Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound), replacing the Blackbird. Enthusiasts claim that such a hypersonic plane could be what caused the loud and strange noises that people heard. An expert said the sound was similar to one created by pulse detonation engines.
There are other reports that suggest that the Aurora program originated at Lockheed Martin’s Skunkworks in 1987, but in 2013 the company announced that it was developing a spy plane with similar technologies called SR-72.
If this so called Aurora hypersonic spy plane actually exists it would have a range in speed of Mach 5-8, length of 110 feet, and a wingspan of 60 feet. There are many possible engine technologies that have been linked to the Aurora project. Since it operates at high temperatures where turbines and compressors don’t work too well, a hypersonic plane needs a technology capable of generating power. Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists said “Because the sound wave that causes the boom can be reflected by the stratosphere, the source of the event could be conceivably be hundreds or thousands of miles away from the place where it is heard on the ground.”
Now, 25 years after the first rumors had started, nothing has proven the existence of this hypersonic spy plane.