Centre for Hypersonics

The Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program is investigating the fundamental science of hypersonics technology and its potential for next generation aeronautical systems and will involve up to ten flights. HIFiRE has been jointly established by DSTO and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

UQ is involved in three flights in the HIFiRE program. These tests will also be known as HyShot, V, VI and VII. The flights are planned to for launch at Woomera in South Australia, or an alternative range in Andoya, Norway. The three flights are funded by a $8.5 million Smart State National and International Research Alliances partnership between UQ, the Queensland Government, Boeing and DSTO (2007-2017) . This international collaboration allows UQ to build advanced scramjet prototypes and undertake prolonged flight tests at speeds of more than Mach 8.

HyShot V (HIFiRE 4)— A free-flying hypersonic glider

HyShot V will be a hypersonic waverider designed to fly at Mach 8 (8000 km/hr). It will separate from its rocket booster in space and perform controlled manoeuvres as it enters the atmosphere. This flight will not have a scramjet attached. It is about learning how to fly a hypersonic vehicle at high altitude.

This test flight was successfully completed in July 2017. Read the full story here

HyShot VI (HIFiRE 7) — A free-flying Mach 8 scramjet

HyShot VI flew on 30 March 2015. It used an up-and-down trajectory similar to HyShot flights 1-IV, but the scramjet engine separated from the rocket and entered the atmosphere on its own at about Mach 8. The scramjet was one of the new breed of three-dimensional engines designed by UQ. The HIFiRE team collected data for the flight until the payload was re-entering the atmosphere at 65 km, when telemetry was lost. Unfortunately no scramjet engine data was able to be collected.

HyShot VII (HIFiRE 8) - Sustained Mach 8 Scramjet Powered Flight

HyShot VII is the culmination of the other two flights. It will be a scramjet-powered waverider vehicle and its design will make use of the information learned from HyShot V and VI. A depressed trajectory will be used for this flight and the HyShot team plans to fly the scramjet-powered vehicle horizontally for up to a minute at Mach 8. This compares with the brief experimental window of about 5 seconds for HyShot I-IV and VI. It is planned for 2019.

  • HIFiRE 7 payload

  • HIFiRE 8 payload

HIFire 7 on the launch pad