Air Platforms

China developing TBCC engine

08 January 2019

A turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine designed by China's Chengdu Aircraft Research and Design Institute and intended for use in hypersonic vehicles has completed its development phase, the Chinese state-owned Global Times newspaper reported on 7 January.

Citing information published by the institute on social media, the project will now move to the phase of integrating the engine with an airframe.

The concept underlying the TBCC engine is to combine a turbine engine with a ramjet-scramjet to exploit the differing characteristics of these engines and achieve aircraft-like operations, specifically horizontal take-off to flight. The design of most hypersonic vehicles requires either an aircraft or a rocket for initial acceleration before achieving hypersonic speeds, which are in excess of Mach 5.

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