Dual-Mode Ramjet Engine Successfully Tested at Mach 4 Flight Conditions

Released on Tuesday, May 5, 2009
United States of America
DARPA - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
FaCET - Falcon Combined-Cycle Engine Technology
PWR - Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - May 5, 2009 - Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's PWR-9221FJ dual-mode ramjet engine successfully completed its first ground test at Mach 4 flight conditions at Arnold Engineering Development Center, Tullahoma, Tenn. A dual-mode ramjet engine is a key technology for developing reusable hypersonic vehicles. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

"Successful demonstration of the dual-mode ramjet engine integrated with a variable geometry inlet and exhaust nozzle sets the stage for future turbine-based, combined-cycle propulsion and flight demonstration opportunities," said Cal DeFreese, program manager, Falcon Combined-Cycle Engine Technology (FaCET), Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "Current testing is focused on validating the operability and robustness of the dual-mode ramjet design during simulated transitions from turbojet to ramjet propulsion modes."

A dual-mode ramjet engine is designed to operate as both a ramjet at moderate supersonic speeds (up to Mach 5) and a scramjet at hypersonic speeds (greater than Mach 5). This broad range of operational capability is required for turbine-based, combined-cycle propulsion that would enable a vehicle to take off from and land on a conventional runway, and travel at speeds up to Mach 6.

The tests are being conducted as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's FaCET program; Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a principal contractor to Lockheed Martin on the program. Additional tests over the next two months are designed to check the integrated system performance from Mach 3 to Mach 6 flight conditions.

Source: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Tests Dual-Mode Ramjet Engine at Mach 4 Flight Conditions

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