Scientists test superjet technology in Australia

May 22, 2009
An Australian Department of Defence handout of the launch of a test vehicle as part of a hypersonics trial in Woomera, South Australia. Australian and US scientists have successfully tested hypersonic aircraft technology which could revolutionise international flight, officials said

Australian and US scientists have successfully tested hypersonic aircraft technology which could revolutionise international flight, officials said.

The trial was the first of up to 10 tests to be conducted at the Woomera desert range as part of a joint US-Australian military research operation, said Defence Science Minister Warren Snowdon.

The programme, called Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE), is investigating hypersonics technology and its potential for next generation aeronautics.

"Hypersonics is the study of flight exceeding approximately five times the speed of sound, and this trial has successfully tested the flight and mission control systems that will be used in future experiments," Snowdon said.

The test vehicle was carried into space aboard a rocket launched from Woomera and then dived back into the atmosphere to test the hypersonic flight technology.

valves were used as thrusters to manoeuvre the craft in space and correctly position it for reentry into the atmosphere, offering scientists a "wealth of new data," Snowdon said.

"This trial has ... demonstrated that hypersonic flight could become a reality in the not too distant future, offering immense economic and strategic benefits for Australia," he added.

Hypersonic technology offered "quantum leaps" in speed and fuel efficiency and had the potential to dramatically reduce intercontinental travel times, said Snowdon.

During trials of similar technology in 2007, the defence department said travelling time from Sydney to London could be cut to as little as two hours for the 17,000-kilometre (10,600-mile) flight.

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 7

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finitesolutions
2.3 / 5 (4) May 22, 2009
This is just short of teleportation. Wonderful! It definetely needs to be green as millions of travelers will slowly but surely produce a lot of toxic exhaust.
Birger
5 / 5 (4) May 22, 2009
Exactly what "superjet" technology was tested? Was it just the nitrogen gas valves used for attitude control? Scramjet engine components? Fuselage shape affecting hypersonic air drag? The article is silent on what the test was testing.
Nik_2213
not rated yet May 22, 2009
By the look of the 'wave-rider' fore-shelf, it would do for missiles, but would be lapped by Alan Bond's Lapcat & Co...

http://www.reacti...s.co.uk/

At least the Sabre engine design can be ground-run...
fleem
5 / 5 (1) May 22, 2009
finitesolutions said:
"... It definetely needs to be green as millions of travelers will slowly but surely produce a lot of toxic exhaust."

Its almost a certainty that contrails cause global cooling, not warming. Also, yes, there is toxic pollution as well, but I doubt its more than what would be produced by a 747 making the same trip. The faster a jet or rocket goes, the more efficient its engine. Chances are this would be notably more efficient than a 747, and thus burn notably less fuel.

-fleem
Modernmystic
4 / 5 (4) May 22, 2009
This is just short of teleportation. Wonderful! It definetely needs to be green as millions of travelers will slowly but surely produce a lot of toxic exhaust.


Actually first of all it needs to be ECONOMICAL, because if it isn't then it won't matter whether or not it's green...people just won't use it.

Secondly if it can't be made economical because of the green Gestapo I still hope it gets used. As with most "dirty" technology the benefits would outweigh the "costs".
ThomasS
not rated yet May 22, 2009
Exactly what "superjet" technology was tested? Was it just the nitrogen gas valves used for attitude control? Scramjet engine components? Fuselage shape affecting hypersonic air drag? The article is silent on what the test was testing.


from the article:
"this trial has successfully tested the flight and mission control systems that will be used in future experiments"

That is to say, not much :)
googleplex
4 / 5 (1) May 22, 2009
Remember the concorde?
The majority of people are not willing to spend extra money on hypersonic air travel. They want to pay less! I think a huge helium airship is more viable (safer and cheaper than jets).
Tragic that people died along with Concord Project due to a dirty runway having zero incidents prior. In fact Concorde was tested significantly more than any other aircraft.
They should continuously scan the surface of the runway with laser detectors. It would cost only a few hundred bucks!

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