Could this be true?
Outer space is generally considered to begin sixty-two miles high, or 327,000 feet. In 1963, a NASA X-15 aircraft reached an altitude of sixty-seven miles high, which remained a world record until the Space Shuttle (considered an aircraft rather than a spacecraft for this purpose) first flew in 1981. However, the X-15 was a rocket plane and the Space Shuttle a glider mated to giant rocket boosters. None of which would seem particularly applicable to a combat aircraft whose engines would have to function well enough to maneuver low in the Earth’s atmosphere and at the edge of outer space, where the air is extremely thin at best.
Russia’s future MiG-41 fighter will be quite a machine. It won’t just fly at supersonic speeds, but hypersonic as well.
Even better, it won’t even operate on Earth. The MiG-41 will fly in outer space, according to Russian media, which has been breathlessly extolling the virtues of an aircraft that hasn’t been seen and won’t take flight for years.
Perhaps the only thing that’s clear—or as clear as can be with Russian defense procurement—is that Moscow wants a successor to the aging MiG-31. The MiG-31—NATO code name Foxhound—is a Mach 3, high-altitude interceptor based on the famous MiG-25 Foxbat. But with the Foxhound’s first flight back in 1981, it’s not surprising that a successor in the works.
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