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Hypersonic Airbreathing Propulsion Branch
at Langley Research Center

Artist Depiction of X-43

Mail Stop 168
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA 23681-2199
(757) 864-6238

(757) 864-6613 fax


Functional Statement

The Hypersonic Airbreathing Propulsion Branch in the Research Directorate at the NASA Langley Research Center performs multidisciplinary research to develop advanced technology for hypersonic airbreathing propulsion systems for aerospace vehicles. The focus is on airframe-integrated engine concepts having high performance over a wide range of flight Mach numbers. Synergistic research provides integrated multidisciplinary methods for design and analysis with both fundamental physics and phenomenological models including effects of turbulence, mixing, finite-rate reactions, fuel injection, and geometry on ignition, combustion, and thrust performance across the speed regime from takeoff to orbital velocity. Innovative concepts for vehicle-integrated airbreathing-engines are developed and evaluated. Complete airframe-engine performance characteristics for both ground-test and flight-test conditions are predicted with experimentally verified analysis methods. Innovative experimental techniques, diagnostics, and facilities for airframe-integrated engines are developed. Tests of complete subscale and large scale engines are made to assess and to improve integrated engine and aero-thermo-structural performance.


Functional Capabilities

• Physics Model Development       
• Numerical Methods and Code Development
• Code Application
• Experimental Airbreathing Propulsion
• Vehicle Configuration Development and Optimization
• Flight Test (under development)



Below is a graphical depiction of the types of things we do in the HAPB
(click on the image below to enlarge)

Graphical depiction of historical timelime of scramjet engine research at NASA LaRC


Supersonic Combustion Ramjet (Scramjet) Engine Development in the United States, Waltrup, P.J., Anderson, G.Y. and Stull, F.D., 3rd International Symposium on Air Breathing Engines, ISABE 76-042, Munich, Germany, March 1976.

Experimental Supersonic Combustion Research at NASA Langley, R. Clayton Rogers, Diego P. Capriotti and R. Wayne Guy, 20th AIAA Advanced Measurement and Ground Testing Technology Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, AIAA 98-2506, June 15-18, 1998. (PDF - 630KB).

An Overview of Hypersonic Propulsion Research at NASA Langley Research Center, Northam, G.B. Northam, Andrews, E.A. Jr, Guy, R.W., Pellett, G.L., Drummond, J.P., Cutler, A.D and Rock, K.E. (PDF - 2.5MB )

Methods for Prediction of High-Speed Reacting Flows in Aerospace Propulsion, Drummond, J. Philip, AIAA Journal, Vol. 52, No. 3, March 2014. (PDF - 1.5MB)





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Last updated: Thursday, December 11, 2014 14:00