Seattle Royal Aeronautical Society

Lecture - Dr. Kevin G. Bowcutt - “Hypersonic Flight: The Final Frontier of Aeronautics”

Location: Museum of Flight, 9404 East Marginal Way South, Seattle, Washington 98108-4097, Tel.: 206-619-5442

Date: May 20, 2008

Time:  6:00PM


Dr. Kevin Bowcutt, FRAeS, Senior Technical Fellow & Chief Scientist of Hypersonics, The Boeing Company, spoke to a packed house Tuesday evening about what is happening in the world today with regards to Hypersonic Flight i.e. 5 times the speed of sound and beyond.

Against a backdrop of WWII airplanes and jet engine noise Dr. Bowcutt spoke of efforts involved in developing practical hypersonic flight and its many challenges. Topics like Parametric Geometry generation, Design Optimization Calculations, Aircraft materials, Fuel burn rates and Aircraft design, Shock wave effect and Aircraft design and more were presented, all this to a very hushed and attentive crowd.

Speaker Profile: Dr. Kevin G. Bowcutt is a Boeing Senior Technical Fellow (STF) and Chief Scientist of Hypersonics for The Boeing Company, with 25 years of experience. He also serves as Chairman of the Technical Fellowship for the Boeing Enterprise. He holds BS, MS and PhD degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Bowcutt is an internationally recognized expert in hypersonic aerodynamics, propulsion integration, and vehicle design and optimization. Notable accomplishments include developing the concept and design tool for the modern viscous-optimized hypersonic waverider; serving in technical leadership roles for propulsion integration on the National AeroSpace Plane (NASP) program; leading a project to flight test scramjet engines at speeds up to 9,000 ft/sec by launching them from a light gas gun; originating the concept, and leading conceptual design, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO), and flight sciences activities for the DARPA Affordable Rapid-Response Missile Demonstrator (ARRMD) Mach 7 scramjet-powered waverider vehicle (now the USAF X-51); leading a design team that created the FASST two-stage-to-orbit air-breathing reusable launch vehicle concept; and working on the Space Shuttle Columbia accident investigation in the area of aero-thermal-structural failure analysis and simulation of the damaged wing leading edge.

In the spring semester of 2007 Dr. Bowcutt was a visiting professor at Princeton University’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department where he taught an undergraduate course in hypersonic aircraft design.

Dr. Bowcutt currently leads hypersonic vehicle MDO system development for Boeing; leads Boeing’s technical participation in the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program - a collaborative hypersonic flight experiment program involving AFRL, several Australian entities and Boeing; and leads several hypersonic vehicle concept design projects. His most recent activities include working to form a multi-national alliance to develop a hypersonic space and global transportation system, and serving as the STF Advisor for the Boeing Enterprise Platform Performance Technology Domain.