Pentagon details hypersonic ass hauling

You don’t hear the term “haul ass” too much these days.

During my younger days my Dad and brothers liked to used the term and its associated forms: “Hauling ass,” “hauled ass” somewhat but not as much as haul ass and hauling ass.

We certainly weren’t talking about actually hauling asses. Perhaps hauling a jackass would fit in the category.

“A local man was injured Saturday morning in a two-vehicle accident on Route 12. Police say Joe Blow was hauling ass when he struck a guava tree. The jackass walked away unharmed but could not be located.”

Ummm, I don’t know just doesn’t seem to work as well as just saying: “He was hauling ass when he hit a guava tree which resulted in Blow’s injury and losing his ass.”

Oh, in case I forget it completely, by “hauling ass” I mean going fast by some method or the other. There was also the joke about a man so large that if he had to haul ass he’d have to make two trips. Not so funny once you get fat enough to have your ass hauled on two trips.

What brings the topic up is that the Pentagon has released information about its experimental unmanned flight last summer of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2.) An artist conception of the vehicle released by the military shows something that would sure as shooting your your right, first toe off would pass for some kind of genuine unidentified flying object. Except it couldn’t be a UFO if somebody could identify it, which someone can — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to be exact.

An artist conception of the military's Falcon HTV-2 Ass Hauler.

The HTV was supposed to fly for about a half-hour after being launched on top of a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., before crashing into the Pacific near Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Instead, the vehicle peeled like a promiscuous pear and crashed after only nine minutes of flight. Nevertheless, DARPA said the drone reached speeds of about 13,000 mph, or about 20 times the speed of sound. That is why they call it “hypersonic,” because it was meant to travel more than five times the speed of sound. HTV-2, the first one also crashed early, did surpass Mach 5 and then some.

DARPA said this was the last test flight of HTV-2. If so, why didn’t they call it “HTV-The Finale?” Or “HTV-Into the Deep?”

What DARPA didn’t say was that the speedy ship was definitely hauling ass, at least in my siblings and Dad’s terminology, and mine as well. And it only made one trip.


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