US and Australia Cooperate on First Hypersonic Flight Trial

25 May 2009 (Last Updated May 25th, 2009 18:30)

The first hypersonic flight experiment was successfully conducted by Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The trial is a part of the hypersonic international flight research experimentation programme that will tes

The first hypersonic flight experiment was successfully conducted by Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The trial is a part of the hypersonic international flight research experimentation programme that will test the theories of hypersonics technology.

The programme will evaluate its potential for next-generation aeronautics to enable greater speed and fuel efficiency and reduced intercontinental travel time.

During the trial, the test vehicle was manoeuvred in space using nitrogen gas valves as thrusters and turned onto the correct heading and elevation for re-entry into the atmosphere.

The flight will provide scientists with new data to make hypersonic flight a reality according to the Australian minister for defence science and personnel Warren Snowdon.

"This trial has successfully tested the flight and mission control systems that will be used in future experiments," said Snowdon.

It's the first in a series of up to ten planned flight experiments by the organisation.