Fuel-Air Mixing in the ASPIRE Hypersonic Engine

Christopher MacLeod, Murdo J.R. Smith

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This paper outlines the experimental verification of the key central concept in an innovative airbreathing hypersonic scramjet like engine.The engine, called ASPIRE, uses a rotating section and discrete fuel injection to achieve effective air-fuel mixing. The results show that the mixing mechanism works exactly as predicted in previous theoretical papers and should result in an optimal air-fuel mixture. Further discussion of engine design, efficiency, testing and combustion mechanisms is also presented.

ASPIRE (Airbreathing Supersonic Pellet Injection Rotary Engine) is an innovative scramjet-like hypersonic airbreathing engine for use in spaceplanes and other launch vehicles. Its development and evolution have been outlined and chronicled through a series of papers in JBIS [1-3]. These previous papers describe theoretical calculations and Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of the engine. This paper presents physical experimental verification of the key engine concept – the air-fuel mixing mechanism. It is therefore a critical milestone in ASPIRE’s development. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-397
Number of pages11
JournalJBIS - Journal of the British Interplanetary Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


  • Air-fuel mixing
  • Hypersonic
  • Propulsion
  • Scramjet


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