The leader in fuel-cooled hydrocarbon technology

Aerojet Rocketdyne is uniquely positioned to offer a variety of liquid-fueled propulsion system concepts for hypersonic flight. At the heart of these systems is a dual-mode scramjet, allowing the engine to function as a subsonic combustion ramjet at low supersonic speeds (Mach 3-5) and as a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) at high supersonic speeds (greater than Mach 5).

With its long history in the development of hypersonic engines, Aerojet Rocketdyne is considered to be the leader in fuel-cooled hydrocarbon technology. We are currently developing a wide range of hypersonic propulsion system technologies applicable to aircraft and missiles, including high speed weapons, hypersonic cruise vehicles with rapid global reach for reconnaissance and strike missions, and concepts that will provide enhanced access to space.

On May 26, 2010, the X-51A WaveRider hypersonic vehicle, powered by Aerojet Rocketdyne's scramjet engine, achieved aviation history by making the longest-ever supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is developing propulsion solutions for hypersonic boosters that have to operate in all flight regimes. These include captive carry air launched, ground launched and sub-surface launch. Each regime has its own unique operating requirements and Aerojet Rocketdyne is providing solutions that perform in all of them.

Key Features

Aerojet Rocketdyne is a leader in Scramjet Technology. Scramjet propulsion systems include:

  • Dual Combustion Ramjet (DCR)
    A diagram showing a Dual Combustion Ramjet (DCR)
  • Core-Burning Dual Mode Ramjet
    A diagram showing a Core-Burning Dual Mode Ramjet

Dual Combustion Ramjet (DCR)

Our Dual Combustion Ramjet (DCR) Engine Cycle has mature propulsion performance and structural durability.

Dual Mode Ramjet (DMRJ aka Scramjet)

Click the image to view how Core-Burning reduces heat load to the wall by ~50%.
Chart showing Core-Burning reduces heat load to the wall by ~50%
Our Dual Mode Ramjet (DMRJ, aka "Scramjet") Engine Technology is based on core-burning round combustors.

Round Structure:

  • Lighter Weight And Reduced Hot Surface Area Core-Burning
  • Reduced Heat Load
  • Better Operability (High Thrust @ Takeover)

A Dual Mode Ramjet is a Propulsion System which, dependent on the Flight Mach Number, operates in two Modes.

  • Mode 1: As a Ramjet With High Mach but Sub-sonic Combustion; the “Throat” is provided through Thermal Choking. An “Isolater” is required for lower Mach operation to provide a Combustor Entrance Pressure higher than the Combustion Pressure.
  • Mode 2: As a Scramjet With Supersonic Combustion.

Primary challenges are Fuel Conditioning, Vaporization, Mixing, and Combustion, and Thermal Management.

DMRJs are suitable for Long Range Missiles and Reusable HCVs.