A sample of additively manufactured SiOC material being tested by the Air Force.

The Air Force is testing materials produced through ceramic additive manufacturing to advance their potential future use in hypersonic flight vehicles. The Air Force and its commercial partner are testing additively manufactured silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) materials that could withstand temperatures of about 3200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Current aircraft fly at supersonic speeds of more than 768 miles per hour, or MACH 1. If achieved, hypersonic fight – speeds exceeding Mach 5 – would allow for much faster military response times, more advanced weapons, and drastically decreased travel times for the military and commercial sectors, with speeds of more than 4000 miles per hour.