New Air Force hypersonic scramjet engine hits Mach 4 in testing
An air-breathing hypersonic engine developed by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Air Force recently broke a world record for thrust production- and the test data is out.
The Air Force Research Laboratory publicly announced the tests on August 5, noting that the 18-foot long scramjet was tested over a 9-month period, and ran for half an hour.
During those 30 minutes, the engine generated 13,000 pounds of thrust under conditions present at speeds above Mach 4.
According to The Drive, the testing took place in Tennessee, at the Arnold Air Force Base Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit.
“The series of tests on this fighter-engine sized scramjet was truly remarkable,” Pat Nolan, Northrop Grumman’s Vice President for Missile Products said in a statement. “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.”
It is unknown what the scramjet will be used for in the future, though one thing is certain: whatever airframe the engine is bolted on to, it’s going to go fast.
The U.S. is currently developing hypersonic vehicles in hopes of beating the Russians and Chinese from dominating the high-speed weaponry industry, which ranges from missiles to glide vehicles.
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