Wing Leading Edges for Air Breathing Launchers
Actively cooled and re-radiative leading edges were investigated as typical thermal protection elements for thermally high loaded areas of advanced launchers. A performance trade-off led to the selection of a C/SiC thermostructural concept. Mechanical and thermal analyses demonstrated the adequacy of the selected design. Manufacturing leading edge demonstrators with a small nose radius, different thicknesses of the outer skin and the integration of stringers was realised with good surface smoothness and contour accuracy. Thermal cycle tests with temperatures up to 1000°C in an oxidising environment were performed without any visible damage.