Five panellists spoke at the Forum on American Aeronautics at the Mohave Air and Space Port in California to discuss the breakthroughs and challenges in supersonic and hypersonic flight. The experts say research in the field is now booming after a long lull, bringing these advanced capabilities closer to reality.
The world is at the start of a renaissance in supersonic and hypersonic flight that will transform aviation, but the effort will need steady commitment and funding if the United States wants to lead the way, congressional leaders and industry officials said at a forum late last month.
“What’s exciting about aerospace today is that we are in a point here where suddenly, things are happening all across the board in areas that just haven’t been happening for quite a while,” said former U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Curtis M. Bedke.
Materials and engineering are making rapid progress after a long period of slow advancement
“There was a period where engine technology had just sort of stagnated — a point where all materials technology was going along at about the same pace,” Bedke added. “There just wasn’t much happening. But suddenly, in all sorts of areas that apply to aerospace, things are happening.
Bedke said there is no time to waste in moving these programs forward.
“It is inevitable that hypersonic technologies are going to happen,” he said. “It is not inevitable that we are going to be the country to do it first. But we can be the country to do it first, but we’re going to have to put our minds to it, and we’re going to have to stop the history of fits and starts, of throwing money at a big program, achieving a wild success, and then having no follow-up. Or throwing a lot of money at too big a program, taking too giant a bite, failing miserably and then deciding hypersonics isn’t going anywhere. Neither of those must be allowed to happen in the coming years.”
SOURCES- Daily mail, Space.com