Quickstep has commenced a jointly funded project with Defence, through the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) in collaboration with DMTC, to identify, analyse and test high temperature materials as a first step towards the development of future hypersonic aerostructures.
Hypersonic aerostructures are components of an aircraft's airframe that are capable of withstanding 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 the applicability of existing high-temperature materials for the manufacture of hypersonic aerostructures, then move on to develop novel materials and manufacturing processes to fill capability gaps.
Under the project, Quickstep will obtain commercialisation rights to any newly developed intellectual property (IP), with the IP ownership retained beneficially for Australia’s sovereign defence capability by DMTC. The project will also involve technical experts from the University of NSW (UNSW), specialising in the field of hypersonics.
“Quickstep is well known for its advanced composite aircraft structures and has a long history of developing and commercialising advanced composites processes and technologies in new applications," Quickstep CEO & Managing Director Mark Burgess said. "Innovation is at the core of Quickstep, and the Hype-X partnership positions the company in the development of sovereign hypersonic aerostructures and will further diversify and grow our business over the long term.”
DMTC Chief Executive Dr Mark Hodge paid tribute to DSTG’s leadership in applying science and technology to safeguard Australia and its national interests.
“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," Hodge said. "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.”