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.