High-temperature composite scramjet arrives at Hypersonix

Hypersonic vehicle developer Hypersonix Launch Systems says it is one step closer to a goal of reusability after taking delivery of a technology demonstrator version of its scramjet engine (pictured) made of high-temperature ceramic matrix composites (HTCMC.)

In a statement on Thursday, the company said the HTCMC scramjet was made by by an unnamed European aerospace manufacturer, and the project “has perfected the design and techniques required to offer a version that can operate at speeds of up to Mach 12 and sustain the rigours of repeated flights.”

HTCMCs are developed for higher Mach number flights. Hypersonic flight begins at roughly Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. Heat from friction increases with speeds. 

Hypersonix’s fifth-generation SPARTAN scramjet engine, capable of reaching Mach 7, is currently made by Amiga Engineering in Melbourne. It is additively manufactured out of inconel 718 alloy and powers the company’s DART AE craft, which its website describes as the “world’s first entirely 3D-printed airframe of a hypersonic launch platform in high temperature alloys.”

“Although we are focussing most of our energy this year on setting up our DART AE manufacturing capacity, Hypersonix is already working on the next steps in our product roadmap, taking the composite scramjet to a manufacturing ready state,” said Managing Director David Waterhouse.

“High Temperature Composite technology is in its infancy in Australia, so we are working with various parties to speed up applications, and would welcome orders  from Australia and state government’s support in maturing and making HT composite  products here.” 

In March last year Hypersonix was announced as lead of a project titled “DART CMP Airframe – a reusable hypersonic platform” that had earned support in Round 12 of the CRC-P program

The team includes Romar Engineering, LSM Advanced Composites, and University of Southern Queensland, and seeks to “deliver a new sovereign manufacturing capability” for a reusable hypersonic craft.

“It was a huge moment for the Engineering team to unpack our composite SPARTAN version which has been  designed by our team and produced in a very complex and never done before process working very closely over the last 2 years with a team of experts in Germany,” said CTO and co-founder Michael Smart, of the HTCMC scramjet delivery 

“We have been very grateful for their willingness to take this project on and bringing their expertise and input to the table.” 

Further reading

Hypersonix successfully builds, tests prototype scramjet engine and fuel system

Australian team discusses composite hypersonic UAV project to begin in July

Hypersonix to develop reusable hypersonic space vehicle

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top