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Aerojet is proposing development of a novel combined-cycle propulsion system for reusable hypersonic vehicles which packages current technology to achieve a seamless transition from a standing start to Mach 7 plus.

The concept tackles key problems that developers face in trying to accelerate aircraft to high enough speed for a scramjet to begin operating. Although rocket boosters have been used to accelerate experimental scramjet-powered vehicles like the X-51A to the take-over point, this approach is not suitable for reusable platforms that would operate from a runway.

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Category: Science