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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies


The objective is to identify and assess critical propulsion technologies required to reduce long-distance flights, e.g. from Brussels to Sydney, to less than 2 to 4 hours. Achieving this goal intrinsically requires a new flight regime for commercial transp ort with Mach numbers ranging from 4 to 8. At these high speeds, classical turbo-jet engines are not feasible and need to be replaced by advanced airbreathing engines. The identification of required breakthrough technologies goes hand in hand with the asse ssment of innovative propulsion concepts, and with steps towards their realisation.Two major directions on conceptual and technological level will be studied and assessed, namely ram-compression ( i.e. ramjet/scramjet) and active compression (i.e. turbines ). The latter has the drawback of having an upper Mach number limitation well below that of a ram-compression. However, it can accelerate a vehicle from the runway up to its cruise speed. Ram-compression engines need an additional propulsion system, e.g. a rocket engine, to achieve their minimum working speed. Long-term objective is to secure European competitiveness for future high-speed flight by identifying potential propulsion concepts and the assessment of related critical technologies. Key objectives are hence: 1. define and assess different propulsion cycles and concepts for high-speed flight at Mach 4 to 8 in terms of: - turbine based combined cycles (TBCC) - rocket-based combined cycles (RBCC) 2. define, assess and develop critical technologies in : - external aerodynamics for integrated engine/aircraft performance - internal aerodynamics for engine performance including intake and nozzle - mass efficient turbo-compressors and heat exchangers - high-pressure combustion experiments, modelling and val idations - supersonic combustion experiments, modelling and validations - ramjet combustion modelling and validations - injector technologies for high-pressure and supersonic combustion

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