Scramjet successfully tested

Researchers say the launch of the world`s first successful flight test of a scramjet was successful

University of Queensland researchers say the launch of the HyShot experiment – the world`s first successful flight test of an air-breathing supersonic ramjet engine, also known as a scramjet – was successful. "So far it has all gone to plan. The launch at the Woomera Prohibited Range was a success, and we received data for the duration of the flight," said HyShot program team leader Dr Allan Paull. Scramjet engines could revolutionise the launch of small space payloads by substantially lowering costs. Paull said although the signs so far have been positive, it is still too early to say the scramjet experiment has succeeded. The experiment took place within only the last few seconds of the flight, lasting almost 10 minutes. "Hopefully we’ll be in a better position to make that assessment in the next couple of days, but at the moment I’m feeling confident," he said. "Nevertheless, even at this early stage, we have achieved what no else has managed to do. "I would like to thank all consortium partners, in particular the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, Australian Defence (ARDU) and the Defence Science and Technology, Organisation (DSTO)." Other consortium partners include Astrotech Space Operations, DTI and GASL, QinetiQ, NASA Langley Research Center, Seoul National University, the DLR (German Aerospace Center), NAL (National Aerospace lab. Japan), AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory, USA), Australian Space Research Institute (ASRI), Institute of Engineers Australia (IEAust), UniQuest and the Australian Department of Defence. Alesi Technologies, NQEA, AECA, Luxfer Australia and Jet Air Cargo, and BAE Systems Australia are also involved.