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Report
Robert J. Collier Trophy Nominee:
X-51A WaveRider
“X-51A WaveRider Team for demonstrating that sustained supersonic combustion ramjet
(scramjet) powered flight is possible and significantly advancing progress towards
hypersonic power projection, responsive and affordable space access, and global
hypersonic mobility.”
Human Mobility Since 1800
… We Are On a Trajectory
to Enter the 22nd Century
at 6,000 mph …
Hypersonic Transport
6,000
Jetliner
MPH
Scramjet
600
60
Train
Turbofan
Horse
Steam
6
1800
1900
2000
2100
2
Where Scramjets Fit
Specific Impulse (Isp-sec)
Efficiency
Efficient use of fuel versus speed
4000
Turbojets
Ramjets
Scramjets
1000
Rockets
0
Mach 0
Mach 5
Speed
Mach 10
3
How a Scramjet Works
Fuel Injection
Supersonic Internal Flow
Thrust
Forebody & Inlet
Forebody & Inlet
Isolator
Combustor
Nozzle
Isolator
Combustor
Nozzle
– Compress flow
– Pre-combustion airflow stability
– Supersonic air and fuel ignite, creating pressure
– Expands flow to generate thrust
Thermal Control – JP-7 fuel cools engine, improves combustion
Simplicity + Speed
4
X-51A WaveRider Design
Autonomous Precision Guidance
High Mach Thermal Protection
Light Weight Structures
Fuel-cooled Scramjet Engine
Conventional Materials
Off The Shelf Booster
An Integrated Aerospace Vehicle
5
X-51A Met All Its Objectives
“The X-51 took the field from a speculative science to
practical engineering” Gen Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff, USAF
 Flight test of a scramjet engine
 Used hydrocarbon fuel
 Ignited engine and operated to fuel depletion
 Accelerated; showing thrust greater than drag
 Demonstrated flight viability of engine
 Acquired extensive ground and flight data
 Proved the practicality of a scramjet powered vehicle
6
X-51A Flight Profile
Altitude ~ 60Kft
Separate
Boost
Off
Run
Flight 4 Data – 1 May 2013
Total Flight Time
448.0 sec
Boosted Flight
31.0 sec
Engine Start
12.0 sec
Scramjet Run Time
212.0 sec
Descent
193.0 sec
Max Speed
Mach 5.1
Max Altitude
63,500 ft
Distance
240.6 nm
Range = 240 nm
7
Autonomy and Accuracy
38
Latitude (deg)
California
36
Los Angeles
34
32
-129
-127
-125
-123
-121
-119
Longitude (deg)
8
Accelerate To Fuel Depletion
Flight 4: Mach Versus Time
5.4
Fuel Depletion
Mach Number
5.2
Separation
5.0
4.8
Fuel Control Test
4.6
Maneuvering
Evaluation
4.4
4.2
0.8
0
50
100
150
200
250
448
Mission Time (sec)
9
Ground and Flight Test Fidelity
Flight to Ground Thrust
Correlation – %
110
Flight 4
105
100
95
90
85
80
75
70
60 sec
100 sec
215 sec
235 sec
Mission Time Since Launch
10
X-51A WaveRider In Action
100% American Designed, Manufactured, and Flown!
11
X-51A Accomplishments
• First proven practical reusable scramjet engine
• Demonstrated sustained scramjet acceleration & thrust
• First to burn a conventional storable hydrocarbon fuel
• Demonstrated fully autonomous precision guided flight
• World’s first thermally balanced scramjet engine
X-51A Success Kick Started Follow-On Funded Programs
12
Scramjet Flight Begins Now…
2060
2030
Operationally
Responsive Spacelift
2010
X-51A
Large Hypersonic Missiles/
Small Launch Systems
Hypersonic Vehicles
“Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world.
You cannot stand still. You must go forward.” Robert J. Collier
13
X-51A WaveRider
“X-51A WaveRider Team for demonstrating that sustained
supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) powered flight is
possible and significantly advancing progress towards
hypersonic power projection, responsive
and affordable space access, and global hypersonic mobility.”
14

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