Hypersonic

  • The USAF recently unveiled a modification of its B-1B Lancer bomber that will allow it to one day carry hypersonic missiles.
  • After a two-year upgrade of its test facilities, the AEDC Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee has finally been able to test the latest Northrop Grumman scramjet at simulated hypersonic speeds, setting a new thrust record in the process.
  • Raytheon and Northrop Grumman have formally agreed to collaborate on building an air-breathing hypersonic weapon for DARPA and the US Air Force. Under the new partnership, the two companies will develop, produce, and integrate scramjet combustors into hypersonic tactical missiles.
  • The US Air Force's new hypersonic missile takes to the air for the first time as an AGM-183A ARRW went aloft strapped under the wing of a B-52, the engine-less prototype was not dropped, but was equipped with sensors to record drag and vibrations on the vehicle and the aircraft.
  • Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has announced that it has set up an academic research coalition to help create artificially intelligent aerospace systems to control hypersonic missiles and other complicated vehicles in challenging environments.
  • Reaction Engine's Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) comes closer to reality as ESA and the UK Space Agency (UKSA) green light the preliminary design of the hypersonic demonstrator engine core designed to act as both a jet and a rocket.
  • The US AFRL has given the green light to start building a new hypersonic rocket capable of flying at eight times the speed of sound. The X-60A vehicle has passed its Critical Design Review and now moves into the fabrication phase in anticipation of its maiden flight sometime in 2020.
  • The US Air Force seems to be taking the threat of hypersonic missiles seriously, having just awarded Lockheed Martin a second contract worth up to US$480 million to develop a second prototype missile capable of flying at over five times the speed of sound.
  • Boeing has provided a glimpse of the future with the release of an image of its hypersonic passenger plane concept. It depicts a civilian aircraft capable of traveling at over five times the speed of sound and is intended to give the public some idea of what air travel could be like in the future.
  • It appears that the US Air Force is taking reports of Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapon systems seriously, as it's upped its game by awarding Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to US$928 million to develop a conventional strike weapon capable of flying over five times the speed of sound.
  • The ability to fly at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound holds the promise of reaching to the antipodes in hours, it also makes possible deadly weapons that can penetrate any defenses now available. So what is hypersonic flight and does it pose a promise or a threat?
  • The dream of a flight from London to Sydney in two to four hours came a step closer to reality after the latest iteration of the HiFIRE hypersonic vehicle made another successful experimental flight​ at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia​.