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HIFiRE: Five times the speed of sound

News Item

Date:
22 March, 2010
Media Release Number:
35/2010

Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced that the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have successfully completed a second hypersonic flight at the Woomera Test Range.

DSTO and the US AFRL successfully complete a second hypersonic flight at the Woomera test range
DSTO and the US AFRL successfully complete a second hypersonic flight at the Woomera test range

Hypersonic flight is flight through the atmosphere at speeds above Mach 5.5, or more than five times the speed of sound.

"Today’s flight represents a significant scientific milestone, enabling scientists to collect fundamental data critical to the design and development of an engine capable of sustained hypersonic flight," Mr Combet said.

"The flight was the second in a series of up to ten planned flight experiments under a joint research program between DSTO and the US Air Force.

"The program, called the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE), is investigating the fundamental science of hypersonics technology and its potential for next generation aeronautical systems.

"The research being undertaken by DSTO and AFRL scientists is aimed at investigating fundamental air vehicle and propulsion technologies critical to the realisation of sustained hypersonic flight.

"Hypersonic flight has the potential to revolutionise global air travel and provide cost-effective access to space, giving Australia the opportunity to launch satellites economically for communication purposes.

"The continued collaboration between DSTO and the US Air Force Research Laboratory will help expedite the development of hypersonics technology and the potential for high-speed flights in the future.

"Thanks to the work of this dedicated team of DSTO scientists, Australia is at the forefront of this technology," said Mr. Combet.

Media contacts:

Rod Hilton (Greg Combet): 02 6277 4771 or 0458 276 619

Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

 

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) is part of Australia's Department of Defence. DSTO's role is to ensure the expert, impartial and innovative application of science and technology to the defence of Australia and its national interests.

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