Re: Brand new & patented fuel for Hypersonic Aircraft

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Message posted by Smythers (Member since 04/27/2023) on August 20, 2023 at 17:57:10 PST:

Jeff Engel, chief operating officer of Golden, CO-based Reaction Systems, Inc., has a novel solution to the heat transfer issue that may open the door to practical hypersonic aircraft propulsion. According to Engel, “we are developing an endothermic fuel system.

In hypersonic flight, as you fly faster and faster, the heat load on the air frame, engine and specifically in the combustor gets so high that materials can’t survive in that environment; you have to continually cool the combustor sections. We’re developing a fuel system to absorb that heat load from the combustor specifically, so that the final speed of the vehicle is faster.”

Why use an endothermic system involving fuel when you could just hang a radiator in the airstream?

At hypersonic speeds, it would burn off the airframe in a fraction of a second, meaning conventional heat transfer processes are out. That’s why Reaction Systems’ endothermic fuel system works: heat isn’t rejected to ambient; instead, the fuel is the working fluid, but not in the conventional sense.

As Engel describes it

“Through the heat exchanger, we would cool the combustor and fuel would be running through it. In historically slower speed flights, the fuel would be used to absorb that heat and it might undergo some chemical reactions to absorb a little bit more heat, but there’s a limit to that. You can’t get a fuel too hot because you’ll end up coking fuel paths, and if you coke the fuel path with the heat exchanger then you lose fuel and the flight is over. What we’re doing is developing a new fuel and catalyst system that we will put inside the heat exchanger to actually absorb more heat than a traditional fuel.”

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In Reply to: Re: Brand new & patented fuel for Hypersonic Aircraft posted by Smythers on August 20, 2023 at 17:49:10 PST:


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