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Hypersonic Drone Vehicle Design: A Multidisciplinary ExperienceUCLA's Advanced Aeronautic Design group focussed their efforts on design problems of an unmanned hypersonic vehicle. It is felt that a scaled hypersonic drone is necesary to bridge the gap between present theory on hypersonics and the future reality of the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) for two reasons: (1) to fulfill a need for experimental data in the hypersonic regime, and (2) to provide a testbed for the scramjet engine which is to be the primary mode of propulsion for the NASP. The group concentrated on three areas of great concern to NASP design: propulsion, thermal management, and flight systems. Problem solving in these areas was directed toward design of the drone with the idea that the same design techniques could be applied to the NASP. A 70 deg swept double-delta wing configuration, developed in the 70's at the NASA Langley, was chosen as the aerodynamic and geometric model for the drone. This vehicle would be air launched from a B-1 at Mach 0.8 and 48,000 feet, rocket boosted by two internal engines to Mach 10 and 100,000 feet, and allowed to cruise under power of the scramjet engine until burnout. It would then return to base for an unpowered landing. Preliminary energy calculations based on flight requirements give the drone a gross launch weight of 134,000 pounds and an overall length of 85 feet.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
June 13, 1988
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 4th Annual Summer Conference
Subject Category
Aircraft Design, Testing and Performance
Meeting Information
4th Annual NASA/USRA University Advanced Design Program Summer Conference(Cocoa Beach, FL)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19930074529Analytic PrimaryNASA/USRA University Advanced Design Program Fourth Annual Summer Conference
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