FP7 HEXAFLY-INT: High-Speed Experimental Fly Vehicles - International


The HEXAFLY-INT project aims to flight test an experimental vehicle above Mach 7 to verify its potential for a high aerodynamic efficiency during a free-flight while guaranteeing a large internal volume. The feasibility for a 3m long vehicle was demonstrated during the European L0 precursor project HEXAFLY. Its realization will now be enabled on an international scale underlining the need for global cooperation in case of a future deployment of a high-speed cruiser.
This flight opportunity will increase drastically the Technology Readiness Level of developments realized in previous high-speed EC projects such as ATLLAS I & II and LAPCAT I & II.
The different technologies and methodologies which need experimental flight testing at high speed are grouped around the major axes of HEXAFLY-INT:
1. High-Speed Vehicle Concepts
2. High-Speed Aerodynamics
3. High-Temperature Materials and Structures
4. High-Speed Flight Control
5. High-Speed Environmental Impact

To realize this experimental flight test, different consecutive steps are planned each followed by a critical review together with international partners:
– updated of the mission profile based upon the feasibility study
– a detailed design of a high-speed experimental flight vehicle
– selection and manufacturing of ground-tested technologies and systems
– assembly, integration and testing of the experimental flight test vehicle
– identification and procurement of the most promising flight platform(s)

The design of the experimental high-speed cruise vehicle will be the main driver and challenge in this project with following scientific objectives:
- an aerodynamic balance at a cruise Mach number higher than 7
- an integrated conceptual design demonstrating a combined volumetric and aerodynamic efficiency
- making maximum use of developed advanced high-temperature materials

The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics solicits imminent opportunities to be the center for hypersonic propulsion as the leader of the work package dedicated for dissemination and networking of HXI.

Project information

Project duration: 1 Avril 2014 - 31 Mars 2019

EU grant: € 11 544 935,40

Project Coordinator: European Space Agency

Partners: Airbus Group, France; Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali SCPA, Italy; Deutsches Zentrum Luft-und Raumfahrt ev, Germany; Gas Dynamics LTD, United Kingdom; Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Arospatiales, France; Tecnosistem SPA, Italy; Techno System Development SRL, Italy; Marotta SRL, Italy; Universität Stuttgart, Germany; von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Belgium. 

EU FlagThis project has received funding from the European Union’s FP7 program under Grant Agreement no. 620327.