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Joint Australia-US hypersonic flight research trialled

A recent joint Australia-US Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program trial, conducted at Norway's Andøya Rocket Range, has provided encouraging results and valuable lessons.

The HIFiRE program is a collaboration between the University of Queensland (UQ), the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, US Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL) and Boeing, and received funding from the Queensland Government National and International Research Alliances Program.

The program comprises a series of trial flights aimed at gathering aerodynamic and scramjet data to better understand hypersonic technology and explore its potential for next generation aeronautical systems.

This latest flight experiment, known as HIFiRE-7, was conducted to determine how scramjet engines start up at high altitudes and to measure how much thrust is produced by the engines at lower altitudes.

The scramjet engines were designed by UQ and the flight test vehicle and control systems were designed by the DST Group, part of Australia's Department of Defence (formerly the DSTO), who also coordinated the HIRFiRE-7 trial.

To date, the HIFiRE program has achieved significant milestones including the design, assembly and pre-flight testing of hypersonic vehicles and the design of complex avionics and flight systems.

Find out more in the article published by the Australian Defence Magazine and on the DST Group website:

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