Scramjet programs

Scramjet Programs

Scramjet programs

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This page describes a number of research and testing programs for the development of supersonic combustion ramjets (scramjets) Many of these programs have their own pages, but an attempt is made here to provide a short overview of a large number of programs. They include national and international collaborations, and civilian and military programs.

Scramjet programs


When the second X-15 aircraft (piloted by Jack McKay) crashed on flight 74, it was damaged but survived well enough to be rebuilt. North American Aviation rebuilt it as the X-15-A2. Among other things, one of the changes was provisions for a dummy scramjet to test if wind tunnel testing was correct. Unfortunately, on the final flight of the X-15-A2 (flight 188), the shock waves sent out by the scramjet at Mach 6.7 caused extremely intense heating of over . This then drilled into the ventral fin and melted large holes. The plane survived but never flew again. Test data was limited due to the limited flights of the scramjet before the X-15-A2 and the X-15 project on the whole were cancelled.


From 1962–1978, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) undertook a classified program (declassified in 1993) to develop a family of missiles called SCRAM (Supersonic Combustion RAmjet Missile). They were intended to fit on to the Talos MK12 launcher system or the Terrier MK10 launcher. Testing of engine modules in a direct-connect, and a free-jet, facility took place at a variety of Mach...
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