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Pratt & Whitney Working with Lockheed on Falcon Mach 6 Ramjet

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 29, 2009
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Falcon hypersonic technology vehicle (HTV)

Falcon hypersonic technology vehicle (HTV)


Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has been awarded a 10-month contract by Lockheed Martin for preliminary design of the high speed accelerator for a turbine-based combined-cycle (TBCC) propulsion system, which could support flight up to Mach 6. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

In Phase I of the TBCC Mode Transition Demonstrator Program, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will develop preliminary designs for a dual-mode ramjet combustor with related control and fuel system components. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will also define requirements for a test facility to perform TBCC propulsion system mode transition tests. The TBCC propulsion system consists of a turbojet engine, which can operate from take-off to Mach 3, and a ramjet engine, which can operate from Mach 2.5 to Mach 6.

“This contract builds on the success of our Falcon Combined-Cycle Engine Technology ground tests as we continue to mature hardware for a dual-mode ramjet propulsion system,” said Cal DeFreese, program manager, Mode Transition Demonstrator Program, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. “The Mode Transition Demonstrator Program will provide valuable risk reduction for future flight test program opportunities.”

Applications for the TBCC propulsion system could include reusable hypersonic cruise vehicles for strike and reconnaissance missions.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines.

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.

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