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Pratt & Whitney (P&W) Space Propulsion recently completed fabrication of a hypersonic Ground Demonstration Engine (GDE-2) successfully completing a three-phase, nine-year, $58 million contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The GDE-2 is unique in that it features a variable geometry inlet and a bolted construction, simulating the configuration of a reusable access-to-space or global-reach propulsion system.
A P&W, U.S. Air Force and Boeing team will use results from the GDE-2 test program in their Scramjet Engine Demonstrator - Wave Rider flight demonstration program scheduled to fly in 2008.