75+ Years of Hypersonics Development: History, Resources, References, and Insights

There is a rich history of over 75 years of Hypersonics development.  This one-day course is designed to touch on many of the key developments in the past and provide references and resources to learn more about this history. “Those that do not learn from the past are destined to repeat it."

This course can be taught at the unrestricted or ITAR-restricted level.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the long and rich history and historical database of Hypersonic flight
  • Understand methodologies to search databases for information
  • Learn about cross-discipline knowledge applicable to Hypersonic research
  • Study historical missiles and aerospace vehicles for atmospheric and exo-atmospheric hypersonic flight
  • Study entry systems and hypersonic flight data
  • Study historical high-speed Hypersonic air augmented and rocket systems
  • (Click at bottom for full outline)

  • Who Should Attend

    Program managers and technical area leaders responsible for future Hypersonic development.Early career professionals that will be designing the next generation of Hypersonic systems.Those who will benefit from taking advantage of the rich historical technical database.

    Attendees can claim PDHs/CEUs for this course.


    Please contact Jason Cole if you have any questions about courses and workshops at AIAA forums.
    1. Learn about the long and rich history and historical database on Hypersonics
      1. Early design considerations 1930s and 40s
      2. Initial flight tests and systems 1940s and 50s
      3. Extensive flight test data 1950s and 60s
      4. Early fielded systems 1960s and 70s
      5. Beyond the space race 1980s
      6. SSTO global express and global strike 1980s to current
      7. Hypersonics commercialization: the future

    2. Understand methodologies to search databases for information

    3. Ideas on cross-discipline knowledge applicable to Hypersonics
      1. Ballistic projectiles, hypersonic flight and predictions dating back to 1913 and earlier
      2. High-speed underwater systems
      3. Planetary landers and probes
      4. Plasma physics

    4. Study historical missiles for atmospheric and exo atmospheric hypersonic flight
      1. Vehicle aerodynamics and flight control
      2. Vehicle thermal and structures
      3. Boost propulsion integration
        1. High-speed rocket propelled missiles strategic systems
        2. High-speed air defense systems
        3. High-speed target systems
        4. Human flight systems

    5. Study entry systems and hypersonic flight data
      1. Vehicle aerodynamics and flight control
      2. Vehicle thermal and structures
      3. Propulsion systems

    6. Study historical high-speed Hypersonic air augmented systems
      1. Vehicle aerodynamics and flight control
      2. Vehicle thermal and structures
      3. Propulsion systems
        1. Missile systems
        2. Target systems
        3. Human flight systems
        4. Projectiles
        5. Aerospace vehicle systems

    Larry Knauer is the founder of Eccl Aerospace Services LLC drawing on nearly 40 years as a highly successful Aerospace Engineer and Executive.  He currently provides engineering and management support to multiple Aerospace and Energy companies and organizations.  He serves on the Ohio State University Aerospace engineering advisory board and has served on the Georgia Tech and MIT industry to faculty advisory boards.  He has been on several specialty advisory committees for The NASA and National Science Foundation regarding space travel and advance propulsion concept. He has testified to the US Congress on the future of space travel and propulsion system requirements.  He holds several advanced combined cycle rocket propulsion systems patents and continues to support several companies on their technology development and insertion.Larry retired from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company where he held several key leadership positions as: Director of Space Propulsion Engineering 2011 to 2014, Director of Common Integrated Process Systems 2009 to 2011, Director of Small Launch Systems 2006 to 2009, VP Deputy Program Manager of X-33 1999, VP Engineering at Michoud Manned Space Systems 1998 to 1999, Director SLWT Development and Production 1994 to 1998, Director Lockheed Martin Launch Systems 1994, and manning engineering lead and program management positions from 1981 to 1994….At the combined request of Lockheed Martin and United Technology Corporation in 1999 Larry was asked to lead the Pratt and Whitney Rocket Propulsion and Russian Operation organization. As President of that group he over saw the first flight of the Atlas launch vehicle with Russian RD-180 rocket engines, the return to flight of the RL-10 after failures in 1998 that grounded the Titan, Atlas, and Delta launch systems, the first flight of the improved Space Shuttle Main Rocket engine turbo pump and lead the rocket motor industry consolidation from 1999 to 2004.

    Dr. Michael L. Heil is an independent aerospace and defense consultant with over 40 years’ experience in aerospace research, development, test, acquisition, and higher education.  From 2007 to 2016, he served as President and CEO of the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI), a 60 person, $17M annual budget non-profit aerospace research and educational institute with offices in Cleveland and Dayton.  Prior to joining OAI, Michael served as Director, Center for Space Studies and Research at the Air Force Institute of Technology.  He retired from Air Force active duty in 2005 at the rank of Colonel after serving as Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate with responsibilities for propulsion and power research at Wright-Patterson and Edwards Air Force Bases.  A distinguished engineering graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, class of 1975, Michael earned a master’s degree in flight structures from Columbia University on a Guggenheim Fellowship and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.  He served as Commander, Phillips Laboratory; Commander, Arnold Engineering Development Center; and Commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology.  He has served in two Air Force acquisition centers, four defense laboratories, a test center, a major command staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the faculties of the Air Force Academy and Air Force Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

    Dr. Anthony (Tony) Castrogiovanni is President and CEO of ACENT Laboratories, a company he co-founded in 2007 to develop and commercialize aerospace and clean energy technologies. Tony previously served in several executive positions at Alliant Techsystems (ATK) including VP/GM ATK Missile Systems Company and VP Strike Weapons and Directed Energy following the sale of GASL Inc. in 2003 where he was President and CEO….Tony started his career at General Applied Science Labs (GASL) in 1987 where he accrued extensive technical and business experience in cutting edge hypersonic technology and system development. His early career experience includes the X-30 National AeroSpace Plane (NASP) and many other NASA and DoD programs relating to applications of high-speed propulsion for future access-to-space and defense applications. As propulsion team lead on the NASA Hyper-X program he was responsible for the design and integration of the X-43A scramjet that twice successively broke the world record for high-speed jet powered flight in 2004 at Mach 7 and 10. With a strong background in aero/thermodynamics and energy transfer, Tony leads ACENT activities in hypersonic system design, energy storage, hydrogen vehicles and carbon capture/gas separation based in NY.

    Jess Sponable has nearly 40 years of experience with degrees in physics, astronautical engineering and management. He served in the Air Force and as a civilian at the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. During his career he supported development of many space and hypersonic technologies as well as diverse jobs ranging from Atlas launch operations to leading reusable launch programs including the Delta Clipper Experimental DC-X, the Experimental Spaceplane, and the X-40A drop test programs. He also served as a project officer on many other programs including the Global Positioning System, National Aero-Space Plane (NASP), X-33 and the Falcon/Hypersonic Technology Vehicle programs He was selected as an Air Force Manned Spaceflight Engineer and trained as a Space Shuttle payload specialist prior to the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, then transitioned to support development of hypersonic flight at the NASP program. He has served on numerous national space transportation studies and panels and is a Jess currently works for the Aerospace Corporation.

    Richard P. Hallion is a Trustee of Florida Polytechnic University. He also serves as an advisor to the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies (RAF-CAPS) and as a consultant to various organizations, including the Mitchell Institute of the Air Force Association, and the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) of the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). Previously, Dr. Hallion was a founding museum curator at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution; served as a Historian with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Air Force; held the General Harold Keith Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College; ran the USAF History and Museums Program; and was a senior advisor on aerospace technology and policy for the Secretary of the Air Force. He has flying experience as a mission observer (not pilot) in a wide range of military and civil aircraft, and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the Royal Historical Society. Dr. Hallion received a Ph.D in history from the University of Maryland, and completed postgraduate executive study programs at the Federal Executive Institute and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has served on several study panels for the Air Force Studies Board and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine projects, including defense against future high-speed threats and meeting future Air Force Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce needs.


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