A Tiny Yet Mighty Mach 5 Ramjet Engine Poised to Catapult Drones into Supersonic Domination

Image by Velontra

Air-breathing hypersonic power plants, also known as scramjet engines, are designed to operate at extremely high speeds, typically in the hypersonic regime i.e; Mach 5 and above. These air-breathing scramjet engines are generally fighter-jet engine-seized.

Engineers and researchers have been working on innovative designs to reduce the size of scramjet engines. The goal is to reduce the size to fit them into smaller aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

However, developing compact scramjet engines with desired performance and reliability remains challenging despite progress.

Now an Ohio-based aerospace startup Velontra has successfully tested an 11-inch diameter, 5-foot-long turbojet, which will serve as the foundation for their Bronco hypersonic propulsion system.

Small but powerful engine that can reach Mach 5

The first test of Velontra’s hypersonic turbo-ramjet engine, Bronco, took place at Purdue University’s Zucrow Laboratories in the High-Pressure Combustion Lab. The test involved speeds over Mach 4.5 and simulated altitudes exceeding 100,000 feet. Bronco performed exceptionally well and passed rigorous testing with flying colors.

Velontra stated that the compact system will provide thrust exceeding Mach 5, equivalent to over five times the speed of sound or 3,800 miles per hour.

A unique offering for aviation and military applications.

A ready-made hypersonic engine like Bronco has garnered significant interest from national defense and commercial organizations, especially for smaller drones and air vehicles, if it can be cost-effective.

Velontra asserts that the unit cost for Bronco will be under $200,000, making it an attractive option for potential customers.

Article Source: Industry Tap

Bianca Van der Watt

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