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AFRL Obtains Record-Setting Hypersonic Ground Trial Highlight


A ground test team of AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) and AFTC (Air Force Test Center) is ready for the highest thrust created by the air-breathing hypersonic engine in Air Force’s history. Todd Barhorst—Aerospace Engineer at AFRL—said, “The research lab in partnership with Northrop Grumman and AEDC (Arnold Engineering Development Complex), obtained more than 13,000 Pounds of thrust from a scramjet engine throughout the trial at Arnold Air Force Base.” Northrop Grumman’s 18-Foot engine continued a half-hour of accumulated ignition time during the 9 months of testing.

Pat Nolan—Vice President and General Manager of Missile Products Division at Northrop Grumman—said, “The sequence of tests, ran in collaboration with AFRL and AEDC, on the fighter-engine sized scramjet was really remarkable. The scramjet effectively ran across a range of hypersonic Mach numbers for record run times, showing that our technology is paving the way in presenting large scale hypersonic platforms for our warfighters.” Barhorst said, “The plan for a hypersonic engine that is faster and larger was formed 10 years ago at the time of X-51 test program since the Air Force noticed the requirement for pushing the boundaries of hypersonic research.” Apparently, a new engine with 10 fold the flow of the X-51 will facilitate for an advanced class of scramjet vehicles.

Recently, Northrop Grumman was in the news as the aerospace company is looking for subcontractors for a missile project. Reportedly, Alabama businesses can have an opportunity to function on a missile project with technology firm Northrop Grumman. The company is looking for subcontractors to help what it states as an “important project,” in connection with the USAF ( United States Air Force) program to reinstate the Minuteman III ICBM missile system across North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska regions.

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