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The HTV-2 can withstand temperatures of over 2,000°C when re-entering the atmosphere.

US military to trial world's fastest-ever plane

The Falcon HTV-2, which will be launched at 3pm Irish time, can travel at 13,000mph – that’s Dublin to NYC in 14m 42sec.

THE US MILITARY will this afternoon hold a test flight for the fastest plane ever to grace the skies.

The Falcon HTV-2, which has a maximum speed of over 13,000 mph - will begin a trial flight at 3pm Irish time.

The unmanned craft started life as a military research project, which sought to come up with an aircraft that could deliver a bomb to anywhere in the world within an hour.

An inaugural test flight was held in April 2010, with the HTV-2 glider flying 4,800 miles at twenty times the speed of sound. The flight had ended  prematurely when the on-board autopilot detected undesirable behaviour, but the plane landed itself safely.

The craft is launched by rocket in a capsule, before it ‘hatches’ and launches from near-earth orbit.

Because of its high altitude, the launch will not be shown online, but live data will be posted to Twitter by @darpa_news.

More info on its flight can be found at the DARPA military website.

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