DLR PR – Can new types of engine make spaceflight easier and more economical? This question is being investigated by researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) using one of Europe’s leading hypersonic wind tunnels, located in Göttingen. The engine is being tested for an Australian Scramjet-based Access-to-Space Systems (SCRAMSPACE) experimental spacecraft – SCRAMSPACE I – scheduled for launch in 2013.
DoD PR — Today the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command conducted the first test flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) concept. At 6:30 a.m. EST (1:30 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Time) Nov. 17, a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle, designed to fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range, was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii to the Reagan Test Site, U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll.
The objective of the test is to collect data on hypersonic boost-glide technologies and test range performance for long-range atmospheric flight. Mission emphasis is aerodynamics; navigation, guidance, and control; and thermal protection technologies.
A three-stage booster system launched the AHW glide vehicle and successfully deployed it on the desired flight trajectory. The vehicle flew a non-ballistic glide trajectory at hypersonic speed to the planned impact location at the Reagan Test Site. Space, air, sea, and ground platforms collected vehicle performance data during all phases of flight. The data collected will be used by the Department of Defense to model and develop future hypersonic boost-glide capabilities.
DARPA’s August 11, 2011, second flight of the HTV-2 hypersonic glider – which ended prematurely after only 9min of a planned 30min flight across the Pacific – was captured on handheld video camera by a crewmember of one of the ships tracking the vehicle’s telemetry as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound. DARPA does not yet know while the flight ended prematurely. The first HTV-2 flight, on April 22, 2010, also ended after just 9 min.
Despite losing contact with its second HTV-2 vehicle, DARPA says the flight was an improvement over the inaugural test last year:
“According to a preliminary review of the data collected prior to the anomaly encountered by the HTV-2 during its second test flight,” said DARPA Director Regina Dugan, “HTV-2 demonstrated stable aerodynamically controlled Mach 20 hypersonic flight for approximately three minutes. It appears that the engineering changes put into place following the vehicle’s first flight test in April 2010 were effective. We do not yet know the cause of the anomaly for Flight 2.”
Read the full press release below.
DARPA PR – How do you learn to fly at 13,000 miles per hour—a speed at which it would take less than 12 minutes to get from New York to Los Angeles? Or, how do you know whether a vehicle can maintain a long-duration flight while experiencing temperatures in excess of 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit—hotter than a blast furnace that can melt steel? And if you can fly, and withstand the extreme heat, how do you know if the vehicle can be controlled as it rips apart the air? How? You try it.
DARPA’s second flight test of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 is scheduled to launch Wednesday. The flight window is between 7:00am – 1:00 pm PDT from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., aboard an Air Force Minotaur IV rocket.
ESA PR – A spacecraft control flap designed for the super-heated hypersonic fall through Earth’s atmosphere has come through testing in the world’s largest plasma wind tunnel to be ready for its first flight next year.
This flap and its advanced sensors are destined to fly on ESA’s Expert – the European Experimental Reentry Testbed – a blunt-nosed capsule being shot up to the edge of space next spring on a Russian Volna rocket to gather data on atmospheric reentry at 5 km/s.
Aerojet is proposing development of a novel combined-cycle propulsion system for reusable hypersonic vehicles which packages current technology to achieve a seamless transition from a standing start to Mach 7 plus.
DRDO likely to test fly hypersonic plane by early next year
DRDO expects to test fly Indiaâ€™s indigenous hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSDTV) by early next year, the defence agencyâ€™s Chief V K Saraswat said Friday.
â€œWe have conducted ground testing of the vehicle for nearly 20 seconds. It has performed well. We are hopeful to flight test it by early next year at Mach 6-7 speed,â€ Saraswat told reporters during Aero India 2011…
Missile makers BrahMos Aerospace will manufacture the cryogenic engine once the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) perfects the technology, said a senior official Sunday.
The company is also hoping to induct its supersonic cruise missile into the Indian Air Force and develop hypersonic missile in six years’ time, chief executive and managing director A.Sivathanu Pillai told reporters here.
USAF Revives Blackswift Hypersonic-Like Plan
The U.S. Air Force is studying a hypersonic road map that calls for development of ambitious high-speed weapons and a high-speed reusable flight research vehicle (HSRFRV), slightly larger than the Darpa-led Blackswift Mach 6 demonstrator canceled in 2008.