This paper discusses the current R&D status and plans concerning a Mach 6 turbojet engine with an air-precooling system for the first stage of a two-stage-to-orbit space plane (TSTO). An air-turbo ramjet engine with the expander-cycle (ATREX) has been designed and tested at sea level static conditions, which demonstrated the engine system and component performance. Experimental and numerical research of the components have also been conducted to build the fundamental technologies and to improve the engine performance. Some innovative ideas were proposed such as a multi-row-disk inlet and a defrosting method on precooler tubes using methanol. As the next step, the development of a subscale flight-type engine (S-engine) has started. The partial expander cycle was selected instead of the full expander cycle as the prototype engine cycle as a result of optimizing analyses. Total length and weight of S-engine are about 2.2 m and 100 kg respectively including a variable air-inlet and nozzle. Because S-engine will be tested in a flight demonstration program after ground tests, it must be designed with consideration of weight reduction as well as keeping of the high performance. The first engine flight test will be around Mach 2, using a balloon dropped test vehicle. This is scheduled in 2007 FY.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||JBIS - Journal British Interplanetary Society|
|Publication status||Published - 2005 Jul|
- Airbreathing propulsion
- TSTO Spaceplane
ASJC Scopus subject areas