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peterman online

I am not sure if this qualifies as a blog.

Mach 10!

Nov 16, 2004 — NASA's X-43A is a hypersonic, scramjet-powered research aircraft designed to fly at up to Mach 10.

I think the design looks strangely familiar! Coincidence?

peterman says:

Watched today's Mach 10 test flight on NASA TV over the web, and it looks like the test was a complete success.

Wirehead says:

I've been completely fascinated with the idea of scramjets for at least a decade.

If someone could come up with a thermal insulator good enough, you could theoretically get something into orbit with no rockets at all. Get up to, say, Mach 26 (700mph faster than orbital velocity) by flying horizontally using a scramjet. Then, once you've got the speed you need, nose up and give it the last bit of gas. If you had a good set of ramjets that could get you from the ground to Mach 2 or so (anyone know what the minimum speed a scramjet will work at is?) you'd have a real SSTO, completely reusable spacecraft which only required refueling between missions. No messy boosters, and you wouldn't even really have to mess around much with cryogenic fuel, though it'd save you space to use liquid hydrogen rather than compressed hydrogen of course.

dcormier says:

The threshold for the scramjet to kick in is ~ mach 5.

Wirehead says:

Hrm... and as I recall ramjets peter out around Mach 5, max. I wonder if there's any overlap between the two? Could a ramjet get you going fast enough that the scramjet could begin developing thrust?

Also, wonder if you could set an engine up to be able to convert between subsonic and supersonic combustion? Seems like all you'd have to do is have a deformable combustion chamber, or something like that. The general idea of both engines is the same.

I have an unhealthy fascination with jet aircraft.

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