Propulsion Concepts for High Speed Aircraft 751092

A wide variety of potentially useful and effective airbreathing aircraft have been postulated to operate at speeds in excess of Mach 3.0 by NASA and the USAF. These systems include hydrogen-fueled transports of interest for very long ranges and airbreathing launch vehicles which are aircraft-type first stage candidates for future space shuttle systems. Other high speed airbreathing systems for possible future military applications include advanced reconnaissance and figher/interceptor type aircraft and strategic systems. This paper presents (1) a chronology of Air Force technical activity on future propulsion concepts, (2) a status report on NASA research on scramjet technology for future systems which may require speeds above Mach 5, and (3) a description of a research vehicle by which advanced propulsion technology and other technologies related to high speed can be demonstrated.


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