Hypersonic Atmospheric Flight

Since the development of the airplane, engineers have endeavored to develop machines that can fly "higher and faster." Control of the high ground of atmospheric flight provides both security and economic advantages for the country or countries that have this capability.

Today, a modern space race of sorts is underway in the United States, Europe, Australia, Russia, Japan, and China to develop hypersonic atmospheric flight vehicles capable of sustained flight above Mach 5.

SpaceWorks engineers are working on advanced designs, computational tools, and market analyses that will enable future high-speed flight systems for both military and commercial uses. In many cases, this implies flight vehicles powered by ramjet or scramjet propulsion systems. These future vehicles will be capable of flying at high altitudes and speeds over long distances.
Our technical capabilities include:
  • hypersonic flight vehicle vehicle design and performance analysis
  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for aerodynamic and aero-thermodynamic analysis
  • thermal analysis of the vehicle's exterior and interior
  • ramjet, scramjet, and combined-cycle propulsion systems design
  • commercial market analysis and market capture assessment

US Air Force Reusable Hypersonic Flight Systems Projects

SpaceWorks is supporting ongoing efforts at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Wright-Patterson AFB to investigate concept designs and key technologies for future reusable hypersonic flight vehicles and reusable test platforms. SpaceWorks is applying our industry-leading multidisciplinary design optimization and analysis (MDAO) methodology to quickly evaluate several candidate hypersonic flight configurations.


Hypersonic Vehicles with X-15

US Air Force High Speed Flight Experiments (HSFE) Project

SpaceWorks is a member of a AFRL-led study effort, formerly known as Gryphon, to investigate potentially beneficial hypersonic flight technologies and prioritize them for future flight test. The Air Force manages the nation's Hypersonic International Flight Research and Experimentation (HiFiRE) program.


Hypersonic Air-breathing PTP Vehicle

FastForward Project

SpaceWorks provides leadership to an international study group investigating the commercial market for future high-speed point-to-point flight for passengers and/or cargo. The FastForward Project, hosted by SpaceWorks, is a pre-competitive working group of industry, government, and academic professionals trying to understand the technical, economic, and regulatory challenges facing high-speed or suborbital flight between key city pairs. Check out the FastForward website here.