AFRL achieves record-setting hypersonic ground test milestone
by Staff Writers
Wright-Patterson AFB OH (SPX) Aug 12, 2019
An Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Test Center ground test team set a record for the highest thrust produced by an air-breathing hypersonic engine in Air Force history.
"AFRL, in conjunction with Arnold Engineering Development Complex and Northrop Grumman, achieved over 13,000 pounds of thrust from a scramjet engine during testing at Arnold Air Force Base," said Todd Barhorst, AFRL aerospace engineer and lead for the Medium Scale Critical Components program.
The 18-foot-long Northrop Grumman engine endured a half hour of accumulated combustion time during the nine months of testing.
"The series of tests, ran in conjunction with AEDC and AFRL, on this fighter-engine sized scramjet was truly remarkable," said Pat Nolan, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman. "The scramjet successfully ran across a range of hypersonic Mach numbers for unprecedented run times, demonstrating that our technology is leading the way in delivering large scale hypersonic platforms to our warfighters."
"The plan for a larger and faster hypersonic air breathing engine was established 10 years ago during the X-51 test program, as the Air Force recognized the need to push the boundaries of hypersonic research," Barhorst said. "A new engine with 10-times the flow of the X-51 would allow for a new class of scramjet vehicles."
An evaluation of the nation's test facilities concluded that none could test an engine at this large of a scale in a thermally-relevant environment. To address the issue, AEDC's Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit facility underwent a two-year upgrade to enable large-scale scramjet combustor tests over the required range of test conditions.
The AEDC team also successfully leveraged technology developed by CFD Research Corporation under the Small Business Innovative Research program. This technology proved crucial in achieving most of the required test conditions.
"Our collective team has worked hard over the past few years to get to where we are today," said Sean Smith, lead for the AEDC Hypersonic Systems Combined Test Force ground test team. "We've encountered numerous challenges along the way that we've been able to overcome thanks to the dedication and creativity of the team. We've learned quite a bit, and I'm proud of what we've accomplished. These groundbreaking tests will lead the way for future hypersonic vehicles for a range of missions."
"After years of hard work, performing analysis and getting hardware ready, it was a great sense of fulfillment completing the first successful test of the world's largest hydrocarbon fueled scramjet," added Barhorst.
Pentagon working on 9 separate hypersonic missile projects to take on Russia, China
Washington (Sputnik) Jul 31, 2019
Earlier this year, the US Air Force announced that it was in a 'race' with Russia and China to develop new hypersonic missile systems, with the Pentagon saying it would use President Trump's new 'Space Force' to try to counter Russian and Chinese advances in this area. The US expects to test at least two hypersonic missiles by the end of 2019. In addition to the seven Pentagon hypersonic missile-related projects which have already been publically acknowledged, the US is also working on 'at least t ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.|