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The Military

Lockheed Martin Developing Successor To the SR-71 Blackbird 160

Zothecula writes "When the last SR-71 Blackbird was grounded in 1998 it was a double blow. Not only did aviation lose one of the most advanced aircraft ever built, but also one of the most beautiful. Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has now revealed that it is building a successor to the Blackbird: the SR-72. Using a new hypersonic engine design that combines turbines and ramjets, the company says that the unmanned SR-72 will be twice as fast as its predecessor with a cruising speed of Mach 6."

Airplanes Cause Accidental Cloud Seeding 151

An anonymous reader writes "A new study by a team of U.S. researchers found that commercial and private jetliners may be contributing to a form of accidental cloud seeding. When an airplane flies through a cloud, its propellers cause the expansion and cooling of the air behind them which can cause water droplets to spontaneously cool and crystals to form. The aircraft sets off a chain reaction in the cloud that can continue on for hours after the plane has passed by. The researchers also discovered that this phenomenon is more common near the poles, where many of Earth's weather monitoring systems are, and it could be skewing data that research teams are gathering in those areas."

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