Fri, Oct 03, 2008
DARPA Follow-On Deal For HyFly Valued At $18.3 Million
Boeing was recently awarded an $18.3 million follow-on contract
from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to
conduct a third powered flight of the HyFly hypersonic missile.
HyFly is powered by a Dual Combustion Ramjet (DCR) engine.
"The DCR engine is designed to accelerate HyFly and sustain
flight at Mach 6," said Carl Avila, director of Advanced Weapons
and Missile Systems for Boeing. "This will be a major step in the
development of a weapon system that could revolutionize the
military's ability to respond rapidly to time-critical threats
hundreds of miles away. It will demonstrate that hypersonic weapons
are viable and will put us one step closer to making a high-speed
strike weapon available to the warfighter."
This third HyFly test follows two initial flights that -- while
only partially successful -- yielded significant data that will be
useful in completing a successful test flight.
Boeing says the first flight in September 2007 successfully
tested stage separation, inlet cover ejection, and DCR engine
ignition. A software error prevented missile acceleration, ending
the test. For the second test in January 2008, HyFly successfully
boosted to Mach 3.5.
The missile achieved stage separation and inlet cover ejection,
but the DCR engine failed to light due to a malfunction in the fuel
system unrelated to the engine. HyFly remained under control during
the flight and successfully completed a demonstration of terminal
Both flights were launched from a Boeing-operated F-15E aircraft
over the sea range at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons
Division, Point Mugu, CA.
Boeing is the prime contractor for HyFly. Aerojet, based in
Sacramento, CA, supplies the DCR engine.
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