Record Details

Skylon Aerodynamics and SABRE Plumes
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Author and Affiliation:
Mehta, Unmeel(NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States);
Afosmis, Michael(NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States);
Bowles, Jeffrey(NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States);
Pandya, Shishir(NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Abstract: An independent partial assessment is provided of the technical viability of the Skylon aerospace plane concept, developed by Reaction Engines Limited (REL). The objectives are to verify REL's engineering estimates of airframe aerodynamics during powered flight and to assess the impact of Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) plumes on the aft fuselage. Pressure lift and drag coefficients derived from simulations conducted with Euler equations for unpowered flight compare very well with those REL computed with engineering methods. The REL coefficients for powered flight are increasingly less acceptable as the freestream Mach number is increased beyond 8.5, because the engineering estimates did not account for the increasing favorable (in terms of drag and lift coefficients) effect of underexpanded rocket engine plumes on the aft fuselage. At Mach numbers greater than 8.5, the thermal environment around the aft fuselage is a known unknown-a potential design and/or performance risk issue. The adverse effects of shock waves on the aft fuselage and plumeinduced flow separation are other potential risks. The development of an operational reusable launcher from the Skylon concept necessitates the judicious use of a combination of engineering methods, advanced methods based on required physics or analytical fidelity, test data, and independent assessments.
Publication Date: Jul 06, 2015
Document ID:
20150015818
(Acquired Aug 12, 2015)
Subject Category: AIRCRAFT DESIGN, TESTING AND PERFORMANCE; AERODYNAMICS
Report/Patent Number: AIAA Paper 2015-3605, ARC-E-DAA-TN24209
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies; 20th; 6-9 Jul. 2015; Glasgow, Scotland; United Kingdom
Meeting Sponsor: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Reston, VA, United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Ames Research Center; Moffett Field, CA, United States
Description: 21p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: PLUMES; AERODYNAMICS; AIR BREATHING ENGINES; ROCKET ENGINES; FUSELAGES; AERODYNAMIC DRAG; AERODYNAMIC COEFFICIENTS; THERMAL ENVIRONMENTS; SEPARATED FLOW; SHOCK WAVES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; MACH NUMBER; FREE FLOW
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