Aerojet has completed the ground test of an advanced Scramjet engine combustor, to demonstrate a new thermal management approach, under an US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract.

The approach, called core burning, forces the combustion flames away from the supersonic combustion ramjet or Scramjet surfaces, which reduces overall heat load.

The technology will overcome the challenge of flight speed limiting thermal loads in the combustor.

The core burning will require less fuel to cool the engine and will enable Scramjet engines to have more thermal margin to fly faster than with conventional approaches.

This will help the air force to progress from laboratory engine scales to the operational sizes for long-range, time-critical missiles and high-speed military aircraft.

Data was collected at simulated flight conditions of Mach 3 to Mach 5 and at various simulated altitudes and fuel injection settings during the test at Aerojet’s test facility in Virginia.