Composites for hypersonic aerostructures

Australian composites specialist Quickstep has begun a project with defense company DMTC Ltd to identify, analyze and test high temperature materials for hypersonic aerostructures.

The project has reportedly been funded by the government’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).

According to Quickstep, hypersonic aerostructures are components of an aircraft's airframe that can withstand the extreme conditions experienced during hypersonic flight (>5 times the speed of sound), including high heat loads.

The project, named Hype-X, will initially focus on using existing high-temperature materials for the manufacture of hypersonic aerostructures, then move on to develop new materials and manufacturing processes.

Plans are for Quickstep to obtain commercialization rights to any newly developed intellectual property (IP), with the IP ownership retained by DMTC Ltd. The project will also involve technical experts from the University of NSW (UNSW), that specialize in hypersonics.

“I’m delighted that DMTC’s relationship with DSTG continues to grow and to have this opportunity to collaborate with Quickstep, an Australian company with a deep history of developing aerospace composites, and with UNSW,” said DMTC chief executive Dr Mark Hodge. “We are bringing expertise from across the nation’s leading aerospace R&D organisations to the fore in the development of hypersonic materials, which has far-reaching and important defence and national security applications.”