Hypersonic Flight Testing Preparations Ramp Up

The tightly packed interior (left) of BOLT includes tungsten ballast and sensors to gather data from the high-Mach transition zones expected on the vehicle’s concave surfaces and highly swept leading edges (right).
Credit: Johns Hopkins/U.S. Air Force
Testing remains a key challenge for U.S. hypersonic developers, particularly those looking to produce the next generation of larger vehicles, despite a recent wave of reinvestment in government, academic and industrial ground-test facilities. “We can’t test at all the conditions I want,” said David...

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