The Australian Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have conducted another experimental hypersonic flight at Woomera Test Range.

Australian Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, hailed the flights a success and said they take us “one step closer to the realisation of hypersonic flight”.

Revolutionising air travel

“Hypersonic flight is more than five times the speed of sound and has the potential to revolutionise air travel, making it faster and cheaper to travel around the world and into space,” Minister Payne said.

She added: “There are key military applications of this technology and by understanding hypersonic flight, the Australian Defence Force will be in a better position to respond to future threats.”

The experimental flight took place at the Woomera Test Range, South Australia and was part of a joint research program conducted by DST Group and AFRL, partnering with Boeing, BAE Systems and the University of Queensland.

Woomera was selected as the test site because of its location, vast area and ability to support continuous telemetry collection during the flight.

Significant milestones

Minister Payne said the hypersonic international flight research experimentation (HIFiRE) team has achieved significant milestones, including design, assembly and pre-flight testing of the hypersonic vehicles and design of complex avionics and flight systems.

Australia and the US are now developing plans for the next phase of flight experiments.