Development of a Hydrogen External Burning Flight Test Experiment on the NASA Dryden SR-71A Aircraft 920997
A captive-carry flight test experiment of the transonic external burning concept using gaseous hydrogen fuel has been proposed for the SR-71A flight research test bed aircraft at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, California. This program will be the first large-scale, near-field flight test investigation of this base drag reduction technique at Mach numbers up to 3. Low-speed base drag reduction for supersonic and hypersonic flight vehicles is important in reducing vehicle drag and improving nozzle efficiency. Flight data will be correlated with a concurrent wind tunnel ground test of a similar test apparatus to confirm geometry and component performance scalability predictions and to investigate design parametrics under actual flight conditions. This paper describes the problem of transonic base drag for supersonic and hypersonic aircraft, a planned flight research program to address this problem, the test bed aircraft, and the flight experiment apparatus.