Wouldn’t it be great to reduce the air travel time between distant cities? Thanks to the successful flight test of the HIFiRE 4 hypersonic vehicle, we’re one step closer to “commercialized flight faster than five times the speed of sound.”
“Hypersonic flight has the potential to revolutionize air travel, making it faster and cheaper to travel around the world and into space,” says University of Queensland (UQ) Chair of Hypersonic Propulsion Professor Michael Smart.
The latest iteration completed an experimental takeoff at South Australia’s Woomera Test Range, conducted by UQ aerospace engineers, along with government and industry partners. This area was selected because of its freedom of space and ability to support constant data obtained during test flights. Hopefully, the information collected will help the team form a better understanding of controlling flight at hypersonic speed.
“Fundamental research conducted over many years by UQ’s Centre for Hypersonics, within the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, has made a significant contribution to this and previous HIFiRE flights,” says Professor Smart.
The HIFire 4 is part of the HIFiRE Program, established by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTO). The program details the HIFiRE as a hypersonic waverider, capable of hitting Mach 8 (4970 mph). The aircraft will detach itself from its rocket boosters and demonstrate controlled maneuvers during atmosphere entry.
Enjoy the successful flight test in the video below.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense