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72 posters

    Russia and other developments in Hypersonic Research

    kvs
    kvs


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    Post  kvs Thu Jun 20, 2024 3:11 am

    When one is deployed in real life use, then we will see.

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    lancelot
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    Post  lancelot Thu Jun 20, 2024 4:34 am

    kvs wrote:When one is deployed in real life use, then we will see.
    That much is true. Despite the US having highly publicized efforts in hypersonics like the X-51 Waverider it doesn't seem to have helped them all that much in making an actual weapon.

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    Arrow


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    Post  Arrow Thu Jun 20, 2024 5:54 am

    lancelot wrote:
    That much is true. Despite the US having highly publicized efforts in hypersonics like the X-51 Waverider it doesn't seem to have helped them all that much in making an actual weapon.

    Russia even previously conducted the Holod hypersonic scramjet engine research project in the early 1990s. It also took them some time to develop full hypersonic weapons. We are, of course, talking about the scramjet drive, which is probably in Cirkon, although there may also be some advanced ramjet there.
    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:24 am

    lancelot wrote:The West is ahead of Russia in research of rotating detonation engines though. Japan already tested one in space for example.

    AFAIK denotation engines deliver enhanced fuel efficiency (up to 25%) but the basic concept is not especially useful for hypersonic systems as they still require subsonic airflow and this puts them into the mach range of ramjets.

    Russian research into RDEs seems to be more focused into rocket engines for space applications, but the Chinese seem to be more ambitious and have tested a RDE on a drone in 2023  link.  Looking ahead they are looking at a variable cycle engine that runs as a continuous RDE at air speeds below M7 which then shifts to "oblique detonation" as it transitions into a scramjet for higher mach numbers.

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    The-thing-next-door
    The-thing-next-door


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    Post  The-thing-next-door Thu Jun 20, 2024 5:06 pm

    Arrow wrote: During this time, the Russians will develop a nuclear-powered scramjet engine, which would be a real game changer Very Happy

    So a nuclear powered supersonic combustion ram jet engine? I am aware of a nuclear ramjet, but how exactly can one add combustion to it and why would one need to as they can already take supersonic airflow due to not burning fuel in the conventional sense.
    The-thing-next-door
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    Post  The-thing-next-door Thu Jun 20, 2024 5:11 pm

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    lancelot wrote:The West is ahead of Russia in research of rotating detonation engines though. Japan already tested one in space for example.

    AFAIK denotation engines deliver enhanced fuel efficiency (up to 25%) but the basic concept is not especially useful for hypersonic systems as they still require subsonic airflow and this puts them into the mach range of ramjets.

    Russian research into RDEs seems to be more focused into rocket engines for space applications, but the Chinese seem to be more ambitious and have tested a RDE on a drone in 2023  link.  Looking ahead they are looking at a variable cycle engine that runs as a continuous RDE at air speeds below M7 which then shifts to "oblique detonation" as it transitions into a scramjet for higher mach numbers.

    I thought the Sarmat had RDEs.
    kvs
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    Post  kvs Thu Jun 20, 2024 5:29 pm

    Nuclear scramjet suggests to me a design where there is no fuel combustion. Instead air is forced into an aperture which is super-heated by a
    nuclear reactor. This produces a similar effect to the chemical variant without the need to carry any propellants. I have no idea whether
    such a design is feasible. But certainly some design research team has modeled such a concept.

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    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Fri Jun 21, 2024 9:51 am

    The-thing-next-door wrote:I thought the Sarmat had RDEs.

    Sarmat can carry Avangard HGVs (3x apparently) but AFAIK the jury is still out on whether Avangard has propulsion (eg scramjet) or whether its a pure glide vehicle. We don't know, and Russians won't tell Razz

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    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Fri Jun 21, 2024 9:57 am

    kvs wrote:Nuclear scramjet suggests to me a design where there is no fuel combustion.   Instead air is forced into an aperture which is super-heated by a
    nuclear reactor.   This produces a similar effect to the chemical variant without the need to carry any propellants.   I have no idea whether
    such a design is feasible.   But certainly some design research team has modeled such a concept.  

    Burevestnik is showing that a nuclear powered ramjet is hard to develop, so I hate to think how complex a nuclear scramjet would be. The potential for meltdown in event of an interruption to the air flow would be extreme, you would need to react within milliseconds to cut the heat to the "combustion" chamber.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Jun 22, 2024 11:25 am

    Burevestnik is showing that a nuclear powered ramjet is hard to develop, so I hate to think how complex a nuclear scramjet would be. The potential for meltdown in event of an interruption to the air flow would be extreme, you would need to react within milliseconds to cut the heat to the "combustion" chamber.

    But as KVS pointed out if a nuclear reactor is generating the heat for propulsion (as opposed to burning fossil fuels like in a jet engine) then there is no combustion as such so the airflow through the "engine" does not need to take into consideration combustion because there is none.

    It is more about heat transference so a case of airflow into the reactor and super heating the air and allowing it to flow out the back of the engine... it would be a case of transferring the heat from the reactor components or screens to actually heat the airflow without slowing it down and allowing it to rush out the exhaust to be replaced by more fresh air coming in the front... compressing the air in the way in will heat it too so going through the reactor would super heat it, but with this relative airflow absorbing all this heat then the reactor needs to generate a lot of heat quickly on demand.

    Metals might not do it... perhaps ceramic material to release heat into the airflow?

    But the terms ramjet and scramjet don't apply in the sense that the airflow is not restricted by combustion rate so it could be both with no top speed restriction.

    Note even mach 2 or mach 3 at low altitude would be enough... it doesn't need to be mach 10 or anything.

    Most conventional turbofan cruise missiles fly at medium altitude for the first two thirds of their flight to maximise flight range... then they drop down to low altitude as they approach enemy airspace to be hard to spot.

    With a nuclear powered ramjet it could stay at low level the entire flight, making it hard to spot and hard to deal with.

    Fired at low altitude massively reduces the effective range of all AAMs carried by aircraft and no fighter aircraft with weapons can fly faster than about mach 1.3 at low altitudes for very long at all. Their flight range is massively reduced flying low and fast.

    Most strike aircraft like F-111 fly at transonic speed at low altitude when loaded with weapons.

    Off topic physics stuff moved here.

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