Hypersonic term was coined by a Caltech aerodynamic engineer Hsue-shen
Tien in 1946 and refers to the speed of a vehicle about five times the
speed of sound at sea level. The first hypersonic flight took place in
1959 and it was a rocket-powered manner aircraft operated by the U.S.
Air Force and called the North American X-15. Since then, several
programs have existed to realize the hypersonic flight in the United
States as well as in other countries, specifically in Russia and China.
The progress made by several of these programs has enabled the vision of
hypersonic flight to become a reality in today’s time; thereby ushering
the age of hypersonics.
About Ragini Acharya
Dr. Ragini Acharya is Senior Principal Scientist at CFD Research Corporation.