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Pentagon tests another Mach 20 speed plane

Los Angeles, CA, United States (AHN) – The Pentagon on Wednesday will test for the second time an experimental aircraft that can fly at a speed of 13,000 mph or 20 times the speed of sound.

The second prototype of the unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (FHTV2), which is shaped like an arrowhead, will be launched by a rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 7 a.m. PDT. The FHTV2 will separate from the rocket and glide over the Pacific Ocean at Mach 20.

The test flight will last 30 minutes before the FHTV2 hit the water and sink near the Kwajalein Atoll, about 4,100 miles from the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The first FHTV was tested in April 2010 but it disappeared over the Pacific nine minutes into its flight. A design flaw was suspected as the cause of the malfunction.

Pentagon’s research arm DARPA and Lockheed Martin Corp. built both FHTVs. DARPA will collect data from the test flight Wednesday.

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