Will I fly in a scramjet powered aircraft

bobbymike

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From Aerojet's homepage:

Aerojets “Core Burning” Innovation Significantly Improves Scramjet Mission Capability
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 16, 2009 – Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, under contract to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), recently completed ground testing of an advanced Scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) engine combustor demonstrating a new thermal management approach. This approach, called core burning, forces the combustion flames away from the Scramjet surfaces thereby reducing overall heat load. The technology overcomes the long-standing challenge of flight speed limiting thermal loads in the combustor. It is expected that the embodiment of core burning will require significantly less fuel to cool the engine and will enable Scramjet engines to have more thermal margin and/or to fly faster than with conventional approaches. This will be crucial as the Air Force looks to progress from “laboratory” engine scales to those of operational sizes for long-range, time-critical missiles and high-speed military aircraft.

Testing was conducted at Aerojet’s Airbreathing Test Facility in Orange, Va. The scramjet test article operated robustly as data were obtained at simulated flight conditions of Mach 3 to Mach 5 and at various simulated altitudes and fuel injection settings. An Air Force-provided video camera recorded views of the combustion process clearly showing the flame holding and flame propagation processes occurring from the combustor center, thereby proving the core burning concept. “We are very pleased with the results of the testing,” said Vice President of Defense Programs, Dick Bregard. ”Initial observations clearly indicate the potential for both significant thermal management and engine length improvements.” Further analysis is ongoing to better quantify the improvements, and the results will guide the Air Force and Aerojet in future scramjet propulsion development.

Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate segment that includes activities related to the entitlement, sale, and leasing of the company’s excess real estate assets. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ Web sites at http://www.Aerojet.com and http://www.GenCorp.com.
 

Nik

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IMHO, no, but they'll probably drive missiles & drones...

Apologies to OrionBlamBlam, but you may need such to counter 'weaponised' aircraft using RE's Scimitar engines for sustained Mach 5...

http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/

Even if only to honour the threat...
 

shockonlip

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One way to fly in a scramjet powered aircraft is to fund the development of one yourself.

And as far as the RE engine is concerned, I agree that it is a very interesting engine, but
don't forget, that we've built a few cryo-cooled engines over here ourselves.
 

quellish

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My opinion? No, I don't think so. Something else will come along someday which will make the scramjet concept obsolete - before scamjets are ready for manned aircraft.
I would love to be wrong.
 

shockonlip

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Because men don't fly airplanes anymore?

Well, maybe they won't fly military ones much longer.

But I find it hard to believe that the dream is dead.

Remember in the 30's when private racing planes were
faster than military aircraft?

It could happen again!

It just takes a few suitably crazy people.
 

quellish

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shockonlip said:
Because men don't fly airplanes anymore?

Well, maybe they won't fly military ones much longer.

But I find it hard to believe that the dream is dead.

Remember in the 30's when private racing planes were
faster than military aircraft?

It could happen again!

It just takes a few suitably crazy people.

No, more like it will be a long time before a combined cycle ramjet will be practical or efficient. In the meantime, scramjets will see use on air launched missiles and drones. If/when PDEs are practical, they could be the ideal "first stage" for a scamjet aircraft because of the wide range of speeds they can operate efficiently over, and their simplicity compared to other solutions. The next simplest solution I can think of is the air turbo ramjet, which isn't that simple or efficient.
 

shockonlip

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>No, more like it will be a long time before a combined cycle ramjet will be practical or efficient.

Dan, designs that lead the way go back to the 1950s!

Marquardt XRJ59-MA-3 (a pure ramjet) drove the X-7 in flight to almost 3000 mph (Mach 4.31) and long endurance
ground runs equiv. to flght 3 times around the world was successfully done in 1958-1959!

Marquardt MA-51 Hyperjet - an engine with integrated rocket/ramjet in test flights from 1958-1961, in 12 in
diameter config. (ie: small) demo'd static thrust (rocket) as well as accel. to hypersonic velocites after
ramjet takeover from rocket at Mach 3.2.

Marquardt MA177XAA - LASRM (Low Altitude Short Range Missile) - an integral rocket ramjet, solid rocket,
with hydrocarbon fuel for ramjet - low altitude flight test accomplished and tech. feasability demo'd. and
program lasted from 1963-1969.

Marquardt MA-24XEA - ramjet for Mach 4 cruise at 90K ft. Takeover at Mach 2, accel to Mach 4. Program
dates 1959-1959.

Marquardt MA107-XGA - H2 fuelled, Mach 8 at 120K ft, and Mach 3 at 60 K ft. Used regen cooling of
of airframe coooled H2.

Marquardt SERJ - 176 E -4B, a combined cycle with merits of turbofan, rocket, and ramjet able to operate
from sea level static to Mach 4.5 range. Proposed for Navy ADLI - Advanced Deck Launched Interceptor,
and USAF AMI (Advanced Manned Interceptor) pgms. Noted in 1970 that completed ground test technology
programs provide a suitable technology level for a credible prelim. engine design.

These are just the Marquardt "pieces" of tech, as there were others, and in the end, the problem was
getting the military to step up to the plate.

So don't say that it will take a long time before the tech will be practical or efficient.

This doesn't even talk to the modern designs for turbojets or turbofan ramjets that have been proposed
and even tested.
 

Avimimus

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Fuel costs.

Unfortunately.

Sail-planes and rigid airships are more plausible.
Personally, I'm looking forward to my two-week seasick ocean crossings (hey, Norman Bethune met Marianne Scott on one of those - so you never know...)
 

Orionblamblam

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shockonlip said:
Remember in the 30's when private racing planes were
faster than military aircraft?

It could happen again!

It just takes a few suitably crazy people.

Space Ship 2, if it works, will be notably faster than any extant manned military aircraft.
 
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