Experimental Aircraft 02


What's this?

and how is it different from this:

Question #2: What are the advantages for each engine?

Question #3: What are disadvantages for each engine?


I will be able to articulately discuss a SCRAMJET engine after today's class.


  1. SCRAM Jet ("high speed ram jet")
  2. Ceiling ("Highest altitude a certain aircraft can actually fly")


Let's take a gander at THIS

Notice the LOCATION of this Air Force Base.... why is that significant?

Let's evaluate THIS

Now let's just sit back and watch this... <oh my oh my oh my oh my--- GO FAST!>


Take a look at this list and see if you can explain how each type of aircraft engine worked; and why each type of aircraft has a particular 'ceiling' and can only fly so high.

Propeller-driven aircraft: Up to about 35,000 feet or so (why?)

Standard Jet Aircraft: Up to about 50,000 feet or so

Special Jet Aircraft (like our baby-- using SCRAM Jet technology): About 75,000 feet or so

X-15 Rocket Planes -- Right to the edge of space-- 350,000 feet or so

MR W NOTE: There is no real line where space starts and the Earth's atmosphere ends. However, many sources choose 400,000 feet as a nice round number. Please keep in mind that is NOT universal however, and some sources list space as actually starting much lower than that. For our purposes we'll say space starts somewhere around 400,000 feet.


We learned yesterday that a true SCRAM Jet engine "breathes" air and operates at VERY high speeds. It is similar to a RAM jet except that the air entering the jet is going much, much faster. That air is mixed with gasoline, ignited and then blasts out the back-- a very efficient process.

We spoke briefly about THIS experimental aircraft-- take a few moments surfing through their website... by the by, why is that website so pretty?

Now let's take a few moments to read through THIS (online article is here) with an eye towards seeing how it is different from a 'true' SCRAM jet engine.

Let's have a bit of fun with this reading--

Please write down three particularly interesting facts, figures or other information that you learned about the SABRE engine on the paper strips I gave you (please note, summarize your idea in about 5 words that are big enough to view around the class)

  • After you have writ down your three interesting tidbits, work with your group to come to a consensus and put all those ideas in order

If you are someone who feels the urge to reach in and grab the strips, please resist that urge

If you are someone who would prefer to watch other people do the re-arranging, please reach in and rearrange a few strips.

I will be MOST accomodating to groups I see sharing the work on this

  • Now let's take the top 3 items from each group and bring them up to the front of the class to make a class-wide series of strips... I'll give further direction on how we'll proceed