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Hypersonic glider being developed through international HEXAFLY-INT collaboration


Simulating the test flight of a hypersonic glider, being developed through the international HEXAFLY-INT collaboration, involving partners across Europe, Russia, Australia and Brazil and supported by the European Commission and ESA.


Hypersonic glider being developed through international HEXAFLY INT collaboration The aim of the project is to develop and fly a waverider-based vehicle above seven times the speed of sound, designed to surf on the shock waves generated by its own high-speed flight (Picture source: ESA)


The aim of the project is to develop and fly a waverider-based vehicle above seven times the speed of sound, designed to surf on the shock waves generated by its own high-speed flight. HEXAFLY-INT’s Experimental Flight Test Vehicle (EFTV) will be launched by a Brazilian sounding rocket before being deployed for its test glide.

At 3.29 m long, and 1.24 m wide, the EFTV is slightly smaller than a compact car, with a flat nose tip and wings. A detailed study of its aerodynamic performance was recently performed by Italy’s Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, funded through ESA’s Technology Development Element.