Holloman High Speed Test Track sets record with fastest recovery mission in 30-plus years with reusable sled

  • Published
  • By Deidre Moon
  • AEDC Public Affairs

In late March, the 846th Test Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., successfully stopped a reusable sled traveling at 6,400 feet per second on a monorail, making it a historic event for the team’s Hypersonic Sled Recovery, or HSR, effort.

Lt. Col. Paul Dolce, Commander, 846th Test Squadron, congratulated his team on this momentous achievement at the Holloman High Speed Test Track.

"What you accomplished marked the fastest recovery of a monorail sled in over 30 years, and the first time we have recovered a planned reusable sled at those speeds ever,” Dolce said. “Truly historic in my books! This could not have been done without everyone here who works at the track. 

“These efforts will now setup our future HyTIP [Hypersonic Test and Evaluation Investment Portfolio] runs for success and add a new capability for our hypersonic customers."

Daniel Lopez, a project manager for the HHSTT, added that he hopes this is a sign of future successful hypersonic recovery tests.

“I echo what Lt. Col. Dolce said,” Lopez said. “Excellent job to the entire team for their hard work and innovation. This just sets the bar that much higher.”

The 846 TS has been responding to a significant increase in demand for hypersonic weapons testing, with a focus on improving its high-speed breaking capability in order to recover sleds for post-test analysis. HHSTT is the only sled track capable of recovering sleds with test articles from velocities over Mach 5.

The track serves as a critical link between laboratory-type investigations and full-scale flight tests by simulating selected portions of the flight environment under accurately programmed and instrumented conditions.