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Chinese Demonstrate Rocket-based Combined-cycle Engine Prototype

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posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:13 PM
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This is a scientific paper, that is not available to everyone. If I had access, I'd mirror it for most folks. However, it seems the Chinese have demoed a rocket based combined cycle engine that is able to fly up to Mach 4.5.

Abstract:


A rocket-based combined cycle (RBCC) engine was designed to demonstrate its broad applicability in the ejector and ramjet modes within the flight range from Mach 0 to Mach 4.5. To validate the design, a prototype was fabricated and tested as a freejet engine operating at flight Mach 3 using hydrocarbon fuel. The proposed design was a single module, heat sink steel alloy model with an interior fuel supply and active control system and a fully integrated flowpath that was comprehensively instrumented with pressure sensors. The mass capture and back pressure resistance of the inlet were numerically investigated and experimentally calibrated. The combustion process and rocket operation during mode transition were investigated by direct-connect tests. Finally, the comprehensive component compatibility and multimodal operational capability of the RBCC engine prototype was validated through freejet tests. This paper describes the design of the RBCC engine prototype, reviews the testing procedures, and discusses the experimental results of these efforts in detail.


www.sciencedirect.com...

Since the Chinese are noted for being secretive just as much as we Yanqi on projects, it makes you wonder a bit about their black projects when they openly publish this.




posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Why are the pictures soo small?
Or is it my tablet causing it?.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: Corruptedstructure

Its partially the tablet, but the actual article, if you are willing to pay for it or have access, is a pdf. That will be a PITA for most tablets in my experience.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:40 PM
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Cool, I think the British have already done this and have a company about to produce low orbit aircraft.

www.bbc.com...

May be a similar concept.

Good to see Man still inventing and improving.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: gort51

What the Chinese claim to have demonstrated does sound similar to the work done by Reaction Engines Limited (REL), a company based in the UK that is working to produce a combined-cycle air breathing rocket engine called the SABRE and a spaceplane powered by those engines called SKYLON. Unfortunately, they aren't about to produce anything. As the article you linked to notes, they are planning to do a ground test of the engine in 2020 - something the Chinese seem to be claiming to have done already.

Based on the abstract on the page linked to in the original post, it is unclear to me if the test engine was run all the way up to mach 4.5, or if it was only run to mach 3. In either case, this is much less than the mach 5.5 that REL is planning for SKYLON.

In any case, I'll take any claims made by the Chinese in the field of rocket and jet engine technology with a grain of salt. China has well documented performance and quality control issues with its jet engines, and it has been alleged to have resorted to industrial espionage to acquire and reverse engineer such engines from both the United States and Russia (see link here: www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/strike/2015/11/20/russia-china-su-35-deal-raises-reverse-engineering-issue/76102226/ ). Given their inability to consistently produce high-quality engines comparable to contemporary US and Russian engines, I doubt they are going to leapfrog the world in produce combined-cycle engines any time soon.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 11:34 PM
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a reply to: PhloydPhan

Take everything you read with a grain of salt.

However, this is a peer reviewed scientific journal, not a press release. I'd give it a bit more credence than average.

They also state they tested through Mach 4.5 rather than what Reaction Engines is aiming for.

REL has been working on their engine for 30 odd years now, originally under the HOTOL program and made some progress but with limited budgets. Given a larger budget, is it really a surprise someone else might make faster progress? And the Chinese are not even remotely claiming to be doing orbital (Mach 25) speeds.

Also doing a prototype is far, far easier than doing a production article. It might have only worked for a single run and required refurbishment.

OTOH, if I were REL, I'd be nervous.

OTGH, all the rocket engineers I've talked too (and scramjet guys) have shrugged about the REL engine. It might work, they've said, but the mass fraction for a REL aerospace plane to get to orbit requires some serious material science breakthroughs.



posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 03:27 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Trust me guys China has as many f-ups black projects as America and don't let the Russians and Indians fool you. They are playing the same insane game. WW3 will be, if it is fought, an E.L.E. or extinction level event and not just for humans. Earth will be a forever night a wasteland.



posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 05:51 AM
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They arent as anti west as they appear either..
Australian,Chinese shared science centres



posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 06:14 AM
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a reply to: anzha
I'd be more inclined to give the scientists and engineers in question more than the usual credence if I could read the whole paper. For example, from the abstract, I'm still not sure if the prototype ran to mach 4.5 or mach 3. From the article, emphasis mine:

A rocket-based combined cycle (RBCC) engine was designed to demonstrate its broad applicability in the ejector and ramjet modes within the flight range from Mach 0 to Mach 4.5. To validate the design, a prototype was fabricated and tested as a freejet engine operating at flight Mach 3 using hydrocarbon fuel.

Reading the abstract alone, it isn't clear to me if the prototype engine was only designed to go to mach 4.5, or if it actually was tested at that speed. All of which, admittedly, would probably be clear if I read the entire report, but I'm not paying $36.00 to do so...

REL has been at work for 30 years, but they've had relatively (for the aerospace industry) meager budgets to work with. They seem to think they've got enough technical expertise and financial capital to go forward with a ground-based engine test in 2020. I'm sure they're hoping, if the test is successful, that they'll be able to get enough funding to continue with the rest of their testing regimen.



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