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P&W COMBUSTOR FOR NASP TESTED AT MACH 8

 P&W COMBUSTOR FOR NASP TESTED AT MACH 8
 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Pratt & Whitney has


successfully tested a key component of a propulsion system for the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP), a joint DoD/NASA program.
 The tests, conducted at United Technologies Research Center, evaluated performance of a combustor for an advanced power plant for the NASP. Tests simulated flight at Mach 8, or eight times the speed of sound, at 100,000 feet altitude.
 The engine, called a scramjet (supersonic-combustion ramjet), uses gaseous hydrogen as fuel to provide propulsive thrust at the upper edge of the earth's atmosphere. A ramjet operates at supersonic speed and slows the engine airflow to subsonic speed for combustion. A scramjet operates at hypersonic speeds (Mach 6 and above) and does not slow the airflow for combustion, equivalent to lighting a match in a hurricane.
 As part of a national team, P&W is developing propulsion technology for the NASP, or X-30, a vehicle envisioned as part aircraft and part spacecraft. The X-30 will be able to orbit the earth at hypersonic speeds (up to Mach 25), yet operate from conventional runways.
 NASP program goals call for affordable, ready access to space. Technical challenges include the need for lightweight, high temperature materials and a supersonic ramjet/scramjet propulsion system.
 Pratt & Whitney is in partnership with North American Aircraft, McDonnell Douglas, General Dynamics and Rocketdyne to design, build and demonstrate a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle.
 Pratt & Whitney's Government Engines & Space Propulsion (GESP), headquartered near West Palm Beach, Fla., designs, develops and supports military jet engines, and provides a wide variety of propulsion systems and launch services for the U.S. space program. Other GESP units are Chemical Systems Division, San Jose, Calif., and USBI, with facilities in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. Pratt & Whitney is a unit of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX), Hartford, Conn.
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: Patrick Louden of Pratt & Whitney, 407-796-6793; or Paul Sewell of NASP NPO, 805-265-5609/
 (UTX) CO: Pratt & Whitney ST: Florida IN: ARO SU:


SS-AW -- FL011 -- 0629 02/19/92 16:38 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 19, 1992
Words:346
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