Numerical research of mutual influence of X-43A airframe and scramjet in maneuvering

Aviation technologies


Yaremenko A. V.*, Nikitchenko Y. A.**, Popov S. A.***

Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), 4, Volokolamskoe shosse, Moscow, А-80, GSP-3, 125993, Russia



To investigate the mutual influence of hypersonic vehicle airframe and functioning scramjet engine at various angles of attack.
A special algorithm of calculation of performance in cruising flight mode has been developed to carry out numerical research on the basic engine characteristics and external aerodynamics of the hypersonic vehicle. This algorithm connects main engine performance with external vehicle aerodynamics. Characteristics of the engine and its influence on tail part of the vehicle are calculated for two-dimensional flow model by using “Fluent” Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. External aerodynamics of the hypersonic vehicle is calculated for three-dimensional flow model by using «Newton» software, which was developed in Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI, Department 105, «Aerodynamics of aircrafts»).
The paper considers the specific features of numerical research of integrated “airframe-scramjet” aircraft configuration. Such configuration is typical for hypersonic vehicles. A special method that combines standard CFD software with in-house created tools was developed to perform the calculations. The calculations have shown that the deviation of the angle of attack of a hypersonic vehicle from its cruising value causes significant divergence of airframe aerodynamic performance from linear variation law and leads to considerable reduction of the scramjet engine thrust.
The developed algorithm and calculation results can be used at early stages of development of the advanced hypersonic vehicles.
The research on creation of hypersonic air vehicles attracts a lot of attention during the recent decades. These vehicles include both manned and unmanned aircraft of different types with various missions as well as guided missiles. Development of hypersonic vehicles with scramjet engines requires special methods, which differ fundamentally from those used for development of aircraft with other types of engines. The developed algorithm takes these differences (in particular, the airframe-engine interactions) into account.


hypersonic vehicle, ramjet, aerodynamic characteristics, engine thrust, computational fluid dynamics , CFD, integrated aircraft configuration «airframe-scramjet»


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