Friday, 23 April 2010

Scramjet - History Of Scramjet

In the World War II and afterwards, there was a lot of effort put in research and most of all directed towards high speed jets and rocket aircrafts.

Bell X-1 was the first accomplishment, as it reached a supersonic flight in 1947. Rapid progress followed. In the 1950's and also the 1960's, many experimental scramjets were made and then tested in UK and USA. Tests were also made in Australia in 1981, guided by Prof. Ray Stalker, at T3, ANU.

Back then the main purpose of the civilian air transportation was to reduce the operating cost and not increase the flight speed. The supersonic flights needed jet engines that were conventional but used a lot of fuel. This is why the companies preferred the supersonic jumbo jet and not the transports. Tupolev Tu-144 and Concorde were famous and they were sustained by the Russian and the French governments. They had little profit and they received subventions from the state.

The supersonic capabilities could not be used in military aircrafts because of the high speed and the temperature of the supersonic flight.

From 1986 to 1993, in US there have been attempts to create a reusable space plane but without results. The hypersonic flight concept was not well taken and dropped off.

Right now there are different claims on who made the first scramjet word. And by work it means: the scramjet worked on grown tests and in the wind tunnel, plus a minor flight test. Right now the problem is complicated and many experiments are kept a secret.

There are many institutions involved like the American Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), the Australian Defence Science or the Technology Organization (DSTO). They have successfully tested a scramjet using rockets to boost it. They did the test in Australia. Besides the experiment, no scramjet was ever built.

Read more about scramjets and Ramjets, visit

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