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Hypersonic Aircraft AUSTRALIAN and US defence scientists have conducted the first successful test flight of a hypersonic aircraft in the HIFiRE program, at the Woomera test range in outback South Australia.
The test conducted on hypersonic aircraft in outback South Australia by Defense scientists from Australia and the United States has been marked as a success. Towering through the atmosphere at more than 5000 km/h, the craft took off from Woomera Test Range.
After the one which took off last May this was its second test flight. Australian Defense Personnel Minister Greg Combet stated, "Hypersonic flight has the potential to revolutionize global air travel and provide cost-effective access to space", it was an important scientific milestone, he added.
There are hopes that the international study into hypersonic flight might ultimately lead to greatly abridged air travel times, making the flight from Sydney to London possible in two hours. Out of the 10 planned flights for the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE), a combined study plan between the Defense Science and Technology Organization and the US Air Force this is the second successful flight.
Any speed greater than five times is referred by Hypersonic as the speed of sound, or Mach-5. It has been said that the HIFiRE vehicle is an unmanned rocket. In 1976, the official air speed record for a manned air breathing jet aircraft was set when a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane reached 3,530 kilometers per hour.