An international research partnership is working towards developing new technology to power hypersonic flight. The project brings together leaders in defence, science and industry to solve the problem of how to use standard aviation fuels in a scramjet to power hypersonic flight. At present, scramjet engine technology has successfully used hydrogen gas as fuel however current infrastructure supports liquid hydrocarbon aviation fuels to power jet engines. The main challenge is to get the fuel to mix, burn and generate thrust during the very short time it remains in the combustor. The CRC aims to achieve this by developing a state-of-the-art forced ignition system suitable for use in scramjets, in combination with novel distributed fuel injection schemes that allow fuel to be introduced far upstream of the combustor with low losses.

The research consortium which includes a team of almost 30 people and is led by DefendTex Pty Ltd and comprises researchers from RMIT, University of NSW, Universitat de Bundeswehr and Defence Science and Technology Group. Ultimately, this research takes Australia a step closer towards providing commercial flight at hypersonic speeds.

The research is supported by $2.48 Million in funding from the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Programme over three years.