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PRATT & WHITNEY ENGINE FOR NASP TESTED AT 4,000 MPH

 PRATT & WHITNEY ENGINE FOR NASP TESTED AT 4,000 MPH
 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Pratt & Whitney has


successfully tested a one-eighth scale engine at 4,000 miles an hour (or Mach 5) for the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP).
 The testing, conducted at Aerojet's Hypersonic Test Facility in Sacramento, Calif., demonstrated the performance and operability of the engine, which is planned as an advanced power plant for the hypersonic plane. Pratt & Whitney is a member of a national contractor team developing the NASP, or X-30. The X-30, envisioned as part aircraft and part spacecraft, will be able to orbit the earth at hypersonic speeds (up to Mach 25), yet operate from conventional runways.
 "The data obtained from this test is vital to the evolving X-30 propulsion system design. In addition to overall engine data, the model provides component performance and operability information," said Carl Sypniewski, P&W program manager for the NASP.
 The testing simulated flight at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. No operational airplane has flown much faster than Mach 3. At Mach 5, an engine would encounter inlet air pressures 20 times greater than at Mach 3 and combustor temperature in excess of 4,000 degrees Rankine, well above the melting point of most metal alloys.
 Pratt & Whitney and Rocketdyne personnel were involved with the model design, fabrication, test and data analysis. The model engine's unique design incorporates multiple airflow paths expected to be in the full size design. This allows engine operation over the entire speed range, which includes subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic travel. Additional engine tests will be performed on updated engine configurations as the NASP propulsion system design continues to evolve.
 Pratt & Whitney is in partnership with North American Aircraft, McDonnell Douglas, General Dynamics and Rocketdyne to design, build and demonstrate the NASP.
 NASP program goals call for a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle that provides ready access to space. Technical challenges include the need for lightweight, high temperature materials and a supersonic ramjet/scramjet propulsion system. The first flight is expected near the end of the century.
 Pratt & Whitney Government Engines & Space Propulsion designs, develops and supports military jet engines and space propulsion systems. The company, headquartered near West Palm Beach, Fla., includes 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) based in Hartford, Conn.
 -0- 5/13/92
 /CONTACT: Patrick Louden of Pratt & Whitney, 407-796-6793/
 (UTX) CO: Pratt & Whitney ST: Florida IN: ARO SU:


JB-AW -- FL011 -- 9894 05/13/92 16:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 13, 1992
Words:431
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