Come on, be honest
This technology is being developed for missiles, not planes.
Flight tests of a powerful US military scramjet prototype able to exceed Mach 4 while burning ordinary jet fuel have been scheduled for December, according to reports. Aviation Week reports today that the X-51 "WaveRider" scramjet will now fly in December. The X-51 will be released from a B-52 bomber mothership operated by …
HOTOL was the aborted Rolls Royce project to develop a reusable spaceplane for UK usage. It was file-13'd by the Government in 1988, amid rumours of US and EU interests, conflicts, and other assorted conspiracy theories.
More reasonably, while the engines showed promise (and are still allegedly on the secret list in the UK), the airframe was apparently beset with technical problems, and this is probably why funding was withdrawn in 1988.
Still, it's a pity that HOTOL engine development didn't carry on over here, coulda been nice to have a working engine others could buy from us. Instead, as usual, we develop an idea, and the bloody yanks nick it.
Why am I hardly surprised?
This post has been deleted by its author
What's up with the supposed black-project Aurora thing - is that still (?) taken seriously, or is it strictly a fringe fantasy? Personally, as an armchair fan of shit than goes fast who doesn't spend a lot of time keeping up on such matters, I'd love to believe it's true, even if it's no damn use to man nor beast. Anyone care to comment? Yes, we speak SpaceAlien.
that link article about the nazi doodlebug thingy has the bestest EVER description of DARPA:
and I quote El Reg:
The Vulcan programme, regular readers will not be surprised to note, comes to us courtesy of DARPA - the Pentagon's intellectual game reserve where crazy applecart-bothering boffins can roam wild and hairy and free, pooping the rich fertiliser of federal greenbacks on bizarre tech-project seedlings.
eh ? what the hell would be the point for missiles ?
most missiles I'm aware of are a strictly 'use once and destroy' variety.. not known for having to be refueled...
and rocket engines work pretty damned well for that. what the hell would be the point of a scramjet missile exactly ? a massively more complex technology to be:
2) less reliable
The point would be a long range cruise missile that is small enough and moves quickly enough to provide little to no warning for the poor sods you're shooting at...
Think high speed, inter-continental nuclear warhead delivery system...
Changing the fuel from Hydrogen to standard AV-gas would help to significantly reduce the size of the weapon - Nothing to do with refuelling...
"In the X-51, regular JP-7 jet fuel will swiftly replace the initial ignition stream of burning ethylene."
The JP7 is nothing but "regular". It was developed for and used only on the SR-71 Blackbird, the plane that dripped fuel until its fuselage heated and sealed itself while flying.
The "regular" jet fuels used by the military are JP8 (US Air Force) and JP5 (US Navy on board carriers, MUCH higher flash point).
What about a scramjet missile that hits its target at Mach 6+? Wouldn't need a big warhead as kinetic effects do most of the damage - a bit like the MOP on steroids.
I'd like to see a S-400 try to intercept one of those - it would certainly have less chance than against a F-22 or B-2.
I'm more ambivalent about this kind of thing. Most of the technology we use today was developed for or used by the military at some point, especially aviation tech.
The primary reason this is going is that it still has a budget, and is therefore employing people...
If you want a military reason, an air-breathing jet will always have a much greater range than a comparable rocket. For air-to-air engagements, outranging your opponent is very important, but you have to do it with something quick.
Slightly larger missiles come under the heading of cruise missiles. Here. scramjet technology would enable you to build a comparatively small cheap weapon which flies rapidly round the world and then behaves like a cruise missile/Predator. So when the US get some intelligence that a 'Bad Guy' (tm) is having a meeting in Mogadishu, they can attack a nearby wedding party within minutes from the comfort of their own burger bar.
These two justifications have allowed the budget to remain, which takes us back to reason #1....
Well I don't care what they use it for, just that they get it working, after doing that they all may look round the table go "well that was fun... got any use for it?" "Nope" "Oh well, next please" then leave it to business sorts to see if they can put the darn things to use.
If scientists were practical we'd probably all be sat in towns with massive well maintained fires for heat, light and other things. Why invent something new when you can keep improving the same old thing?
Specal OPs deep drop? I can bet the designers have plans for, at the outbrake of war, being able to load up a few of these with elite troups from home soil, and HaLo droping them near the bad guys and taking them out within a few hours.
What will actualy happen is, like the blackbird, it will be very fast, but painfully expensive and take days of planing to fly, so they will just end up using ships and Jumbos as normal, but it means that for a while the heads of the worlds armed forces can have action film dreams.
Hmm, Skylon & it's Mach 5 airliner deriviative, Lapcat....
At least they have some degree of funding, however pitiful, for the Sabre engine, unlike the 1980's....
Mind you, why does Lapcat, look like a 21st Century version of the Russian Mya-52 "Bounder" bomber, from the 1950's...?
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021