Development of the HTV-3X
Hypersonic Test Vehicle
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  HFV-3X Wind Tunnel Model
HTV-3X Hypersonic Aircraft Wind Tunnel Model
HFV-3X Wire Frame
HTV-3X Hypersonic Aircraft AeroWindTunnel Wireframe Design
HTV-3X (Blackswift) Design
HTV-3X Subsonic Wind Tunnel Model Orthographic Design

The Hypersonic Test Vehicle project is AeroRocket's version of the DARPA HTV-3X also known as the Blackswift  which represents AeroRocket's proposal for a hypersonic aircraft capable of flight to 300,000 feet and top speed from Mach 5 to Mach 10. A miniature subsonic wind tunnel model of the HTV-3X has been fabricated for experimental determination of drag coefficient (CD) using AeroRocket's 1 inch diameter supersonic blow-down wind tunnel. In addition, an AeroWindTunnel analysis has been performed that validates results from subsonic and supersonic wind tunnel tests. Please see the Wikipedia article about the HTV-3X that contains DARPA video and other interesting information about this proposed (now cancelled) space plane.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HTV-3X
SUPERSONIC/HYPERSONIC FLIGHT VEHICLE CONCEPT
HTV-3X in the subsonic wind tunnel Supersonic Blow-Down wind tunnel system

SUBSONIC WIND TUNNEL
The AeroRocket subsonic wind tunnel is a suction system powered by a two speed 1/3 horsepower fan. The test section is 7 inches wide x 10 inches high x 16 inches long. A research quality pitot tube measures the difference between static and dynamic pressure in the test section. The resulting differential determines flow velocity using an analog velocity meter. Small models that represent large designs are routinely tested in the AeroRocket wind tunnel.

SUPERSONIC BLOW-DOWN WIND TUNNEL (1" DIAMETER)
The new AeroRocket 1" diameter supersonic blow-down wind tunnel performs drag measurements up to Mach 3
. AeroRocket's expertise in the fabrication of miniature wind tunnel models makes possible the measurement of supersonic Cd for designs ranging from simple high power rockets to the complex HTV-3X. This new supersonic wind tunnel has already been used to determine drag coefficient of the HTV-3X. These measurements determined drag coefficient for the HTV-3X to be: Cd = 0.2435 at M = 1.6.

HTV-3X supersonic wind tunnel model
Miniature HTV-3X Supersonic Blow-Down Wind Tunnel Model

Close-up view of the SSWT
Close-up view of the new 1" diameter Supersonic Blow-Down Wind Tunnel

HTV-3X BLOW-DOWN WIND TUNNEL RESULTS
Cd, Blow-Down Wind Tunnel
Max. Frontal Reference Area
Cd, Ideal Wave Drag Equation
Max. Frontal Reference Area
Cdwave = 0.2435 @ M = 1.6 Cdwave = 0.2992 @ M = 1.6
HTV-3X MODEL (1" TUNNEL)
Length = 12.7 mm
Width = 6.35 mm
Thickness = 2.388 mm
Smax = 15.161 mm2
Pstatic = 0.106 atm
P0 = 2.241 atm
Blockage Factor = 2.992%
q = 1/2
g Pstatic Mn2 = 0.518 atm
FULL SIZE HTV-3X
Lb = 15.62 m
Smax = 7.153 m2
Swing = 52.628 m2
Ewd = 1.5

L
LE = 54.44 deg
Ainlet = 2.0 m2
Model in the SSWT
Testing The miniature HTV-3X in the new 1" Blow-Down Wind Tunnel at M = 1.6.
HTV-3X wave drag equation

The zero-lift drag coefficient (Cd) verses Mach number curve displayed below (blue line) was generated using AeroWindTunnel with Surface-Roughness equal to None. For this analysis the inlet area, Ainlet is included. The classically generated Cd verses Mach number curve (red dots) was generated using the hypersonic wave drag equation (CDwave) added to base drag (Cdbase) then plotted verses the AeroWindTunnel results.

AERODYNAMICS ANALYSIS
The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) pressure-contour plot displayed to the right is the result of two separate two-dimensional AeroCFD analyses. The upper half of the two-dimensional analysis represents the upper-half of the HTV-3X airframe and the lower two-dimensional analysis in the plot represents the lower-half of the airframe to form the entire Mach 2.64 HTV-3X flow pattern.

Cd 2-D AeroCFD RESULTS
0.418 Ainlet excluded. Cdbase and Cdfriction included.
0.301 Ainlet, Cdbase and Cdfriction included. See plot below.


AeroWindTunnel Cd verses M (blue line) compared to the Cd at M = 2.64
predicted by AeroCFD (red dot) where A
inlet Cdbase and Cdfriction are included.

VisualCFD upper and lower analysis

AeroWindTunnel Fuselage Geometry and Wing-Fuselage Aerodynamics specifications of the HTV-3X vehicle.

STATIC TESTING
Prior to flight testing an actual HTV-3X an existing flight vehicle, the X-30 NASP representing similar aerodynamics will be tested. The image on the left depicts the X-30 NASP mounted on its dual-rail launcher. AeroWindTunnel determined that for static and dynamic stability a forward-mounted rocket motor is required. The image on the right illustrates a static test firing intended to determine extent of damage to the airframe and ducting of the X-30. No exhaust damage was observed to the ducting indicating additional thermal protection is not necessary. The X-30 is now ready for rocket powered glider flight testing. Update: The first flight test of the X-30 NASP was successful. Rocket was recovered with only slight damage.


Static test firing of the X-30 NASP QuickTime Movie (700KB)
Requires QuickTime from Apple Computer

FLIGHT TESTING
The X-30 NASP model rocket was successfully launched on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 10:56 am. Video recorded the launch as the X-30 lifted off its rails at an initial flight angle of 45 degrees. During powered flight the AOA maintained approximately 45 degrees until burnout after which the vehicle entered the coast phase of flight. The X-30's lift to drag ratio (L/D) of 3 allowed the vehicle to perform a rather steep glide to land undamaged approximately 112 feet from its launch point. Table-1 presents results of the successful flight and are compared to results from the AeroDRAG flight analysis computer program. AeroDRAG has been used successfully to predict flight trajectory of professional rockets like the Atlas missile and model rockets with equal success. Please see Figure-1, Figure-2 and Figure-3 (below) that depict the X-30 shortly after rocket motor ignition, during ascent and finally during the glide phase of flight. Finally, please see a screen shot of the AeroDRAG analysis results that are also displayed in Table-1. These results will form the basis for the analytical and fabrication capability to launch the HTV-3X.

TABLE-1, X-30 NASP Flight Information
Flight Data AeroDRAG Results Measured Flight Data
Maximum Range 122.3 ft / 37.28 m 112 ft / 34.138 m
Burnout Altitude 8.75 ft / 2.67 m --
Burnout Velocity 54.88 ft/sec / 16.73 m/sec --
Maximum Altitude 28.81 ft / 8.78 m 29.0 ft / 8.84 m
Time to Impact 4.05 seconds 4.1 seconds

 X-30 shortly after ignition X-30 at burnout X-30 glide phase
Three sequences during the successful flight of the AeroRocket X-30 NASP model rocket. Figure-1 depicts the X-30 shortly after ignition.
Figure-2 depicts the X-30 at burnout and insertion into the coast phase of flight. Figure-3 depicts the X-30 glide phase of flight.


X-30 NASP model rocket flight analysis using the AeroDRAG flight analysis computer program. Red line indicates powered flight and blue line indicates coast phase of flight.


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