Aerojet Rocketdyne and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory conducted hot-fire tests for an 18-foot air-breathing hypersonic engine built in support of the Medium Scale Critical Components initiative.
The scramjet engine yielded over 13K pounds of thrust power under various hypersonic flight conditions during a 12-month series of tests at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, the company said Tuesday.
The team trialed various Mach numbers to test the engine's capacity to propel a vehicle at hypersonic speeds. The tests also showed that the engine is applicable to missiles, high speed aircraft and other platforms.
"Years of preparation paid off as the completion of the MSCC test program sets the foundation for design of hypersonic propulsion systems across a broad range of vehicle scale and Mach operability," said Paul Kennedy, program manager at AFRL.
Eileen Drake, CEO and president of Aerojet Rocketdyne, said the engine powered USAF's X-51A Waverider platform when it performed the longest recorded air-breathing hypersonic flight in 2010.