A critical mechanical system in advanced hypersonic engines is the panel-edge seal system that seals gaps between the articulating engine panels and the adjacent engine splitter walls. Significant advancements in seal technology are required to meet the extreme demands placed on the seals, including the simultaneous requirements of low leakage, conformable, high temperature, high pressure, sliding operation. In this investigation, the design, development, analytical and experimental evaluation of a new ceramic wafer seal that shows promise of meeting these demands will be addressed. A high temperature seal test fixture was designed and fabricated to measure static seal leakage performance under engine simulated conditions. Ceramic wafer seal leakage rates are presented for engine-simulated air pressure differentials (up to 100 psi), and temperatures (up to 1350°F), sealing both flat and distorted wall conditions, where distortions can be as large as 0.15 in. in only an 18 in. span. Seal leakage rates are low, meeting an industry-established tentative leakage limit for all combinations of temperature, pressure and wall conditions considered. A seal leakage model developed from externally-pressurized gas film bearing theory is also presented. Predicte d leakage rates agree favorably with the measured data for nearly all combinations of temperature and pressure. Discrepancies noted at high engine pressure and temperature are attributed to thermally-induced, non-uniform changes in the size and shape of the leakage gap condition. The challenging thermal environment the seal must operate in places considerable demands on the seal concept and material selection. Of the many high temperature materials considered in the design, ceramics were the only materials that met the many challenging seal material design requirements. Of the aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, and silicon nitride ceramics considered in the material ranking scheme developed herein, the silicon nitride class of ceramics ranked the highest because of their high temperature strength; resistance to the intense heating rates; resistance to hydrogen damage; and good structural properties. Baseline seal feasibility has been established through the research conducted in this investigation. Recommendations for future work are also discussed.