We know that Lockheed openly discussed the potential of developing a demonstration aircraft as early as 2016 that would be about the size of an F-22 Raptor and would serve to demonstrate the technologies that would support the SR-72’s hypersonic design. In just a few years, such a demonstration may take to the skies for less than $1 billion in production costs.
Even while this was strange, it was by no means proof positive. Meanwhile, Lockheed has also clarified that the fictitious Darkstar design is based on real-world capabilities, suggesting that a hypersonic aircraft that can outrun the SR-71 already exists or might do so in the not-too-distant future.
The Oscar-themed tweets from yesterday only fuel this rumor by raising the possibility that parts of Darkstar may already be under development. It’s also feasible that the SR-71’s records were long since broken by a clandestine crewed aircraft.
Undoubtedly, the tweets stoked even more interest in what turned out to be one of 2022’s best films, regardless of the state of Lockheed’s mysterious projects. Above all, though, they provide additional proof of Lockheed Martin’s efforts to imply that the history of high-speed flying is different from what we currently believe it to be.