Digital engineering can significantly reducetime to create modern aircraft, while reducing the cost of research and development. The introduction of high technologies in the process of creating new aircraft was demonstrated by one of the divisions of the aerospace company Lockheed Martin. The Skunk Works division has announced that it is practically ready for ground testing of the top-secret Speed Racer aircraft, awaiting delivery of turbojet engines from Michigan from Technical Directions, part of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Corporation.
The Speed Racer project was first reported onthe official Lockheed press conference in September 2020. However, then no specific technical parameters of the future aircraft were reported. The Speed Racer project is known to be the first test of Lockheed's new digital engineering system called StarDrive.
StarDrive was developed by Lockheed inresponding to the US Air Force's request for the integration of digital engineering tools at all stages of aircraft development, from design and production to servicing a new weapon system. As a result, the company's StarDrive system will be able to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing and operating new aircraft for the military.
How effective the new system is can be judgedfrom a comparison of the time the new aircraft was created with the design and production times of the F-35 fighter-bomber, which took Lockheed about 20 years to develop. The new aircraft enters the first ground tests just a year after the start of work on its creation.
After installing the turbojet engines onSpeed Racer, reliability, vibration and other ground tests will be carried out to allow for a full flight test.