Development study of mach 6 turbojet engine with air-precooling

Tetsuya Sato*, Hideyuki Taguchi, Hiroaki Kobayashi, Takayuki Kojima

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the current R&D status and plans concerning a Mach 6 turbojet engine with an air-precooling system for the first stage of a two-stage-to-orbit space plane (TSTO). An air-turbo ramjet engine with the expander-cycle (ATREX) has been designed and tested at sea level static conditions, which demonstrated the engine system and component performance. Experimental and numerical research of the components have also been conducted to build the fundamental technologies and to improve the engine performance. Some innovative ideas were proposed such as a multi-row-disk inlet and a defrosting method on precooler tubes using methanol. As the next step, the development of a subscale flight-type engine (S-engine) has started. The partial expander cycle was selected instead of the full expander cycle as the prototype engine cycle as a result of optimizing analyses. Total length and weight of S-engine are about 2.2 m and 100 kg respectively including a variable air-inlet and nozzle. Because S-engine will be tested in a flight demonstration program after ground tests, it must be designed with consideration of weight reduction as well as keeping of the high performance. The first engine flight test will be around Mach 2, using a balloon dropped test vehicle. This is scheduled in 2007 FY.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
JournalJBIS - Journal British Interplanetary Society
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Airbreathing propulsion
  • Precooling
  • TSTO Spaceplane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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