Experiments to investigate the transition process in hypervelocity boundary layers were performed in the T4 free-piston shock tunnel. An array of thin-film heat-transfer gauges was used to detect the location and extent of the transitional region on a 1500 mm long x 120 turn wide flat plate, which formed one of the walls of a duct. The experiments were performed in a Mach 6 flow of air with 6- and 12-MJ/kg nozzle-supply enthalpies at unit Reynolds numbers ranging from 1.6 x 10(6) to 4.9 x 10(6) m(-1). The results show that the characteristics typical of transition taking place through the initiation, growth, and merger of turbulent spots are evident in the heat-transfer signals. A 2-mm-high excrescence located 440 turn from the leading edge was found to be capable of generating a turbulent wedge within an otherwise laminar boundary layer at a unit Reynolds number of 2.6 x 10(6) m(-1) at the 6-MJ/kg condition. A tripping strip, located 100 mm from the leading edge and consisting of a line 37 teeth of 2 rum height equally spaced and spanning the test surface, was also found to be capable of advancing the transition location at the same condition and at the higher enthalpy condition.