Episode 177 — Hypersonic Ascendancy: Regaining America’s Edge

In episode 177 of the Aerospace Advantage, Hypersonic Ascendancy: Regaining America’s Edge, John “Slick” Baum chats with Dr. Michael Brown, the Principal Scientist of the High-Speed Systems Division at Air Force Research Laboratory, and Mark Rettig, Vice President and General Manager for Business and Technology Development at GE Aerospace’s Edison Works about what the Air Force and industry are doing to help realize this crucial capability at an operational level.

The U.S. spent the 1960s as the undisputed hypersonic leader, with the famed X-15 executing 199 successful flights, many over five times the speed of sound at the edge of space. This conversation begins with members of the Mitchell Institute team visiting the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s legendary X-15 up close, discussing the program’s significance, and then exploring how this competitive advantage faded over subsequent decades. Now, America faces fierce adversary competition in the hypersonic realm, and our defense community must respond.

We turn to AFRL’s Dr. Michael Brown and GE’s Mark Rettig to better understand how the government and industry are striving to realize the necessary innovations to field this capability at an operational level. We also discuss how and why hypersonic technology will impact tomorrow’s battlespace.  This is an incredible conversation with key leaders who are pioneering the future.

Credits:

Host: John “Slick” Baum, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Producer: Shane Thin

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Doug Birkey, Executive Director, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Heather Penney, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Guest: Dr. Michael Brown, Principal Scientist, High-Speed Systems Division, Air Force Research Laboratory

Guest: Mark Rettig, Vice President and General Manager for Business and Technology Development, Edison Works Division, GE Aerospace

Read Transcript (AI-Assisted)
Share Article