Patent Number: 7,762,077

Title: Single-stage hypersonic vehicle featuring advanced swirl combustion

Abstract: A single-stage hypersonic vehicle is comprised of a low-speed and a high-speed propulsion system. The low-speed propulsion system propels the single-stage vehicle to a threshold velocity, after which the high-speed propulsion system then takes over. The low-speed propulsion system includes a combined-cycle engine featuring a swirl generator that is integrated into a turbojet engine to provide a compact turbojet and swirl afterburner-ramjet propulsion system. The high-speed propulsion system includes a hypersonic engine that is operable at the threshold takeover velocity and beyond. In various embodiments, the high-speed propulsion system comprises a scramjet, rocket, or scramjet/rocket engine depending requirements. Benefits of the swirl generator design include its ability to rapidly and efficiently atomize, vaporize, mix and burn the fuel and oxidizer for the low speed propulsion system, significantly reduce length, weight, cooling requirements and complexity for both propulsion systems, while maintaining high propulsion performance and reducing propulsion and launch costs.

Inventors: Pederson; Robert J. (Thousand Oaks, CA), Schmotolocha; Stephen N. (Thousand Oaks, CA), Follett; William W. (Calabasas, CA)

Assignee: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc.

International Classification: F02K 7/08 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 7/27/12018