The Air Force recently broke the record for the highest thrust producing air-breathing hypersonic engine the service has ever tested in its history, at least that we know about. Northrop Grumman built the scramjet engine for the Air Force Research Laboratory and its development comes amid a general renaissance in all things hypersonic across the U.S. military.

The Air Force Research Laboratory announced the achievement on Aug. 5, 2019, but did not say specifically when it had occured. AFRL and Northrop Grumman had tested the 18-foot long fighter-engine sized scramjet powerplant across a nine-month period. The engine ran for a total of 30 minutes across an unspecified number of tests, generating up to 13,000 pounds of thrust under conditions the engine would experience at speeds of above Mach 4. The testing occured at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex's (AEDC) Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee.

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