Military Review

Hypersonic aircraft "Ajax"

The Ajax hypersonic aircraft concept in the domestic scientific community was spoken back in the 80s, and publicly began to be discussed in the 90s of the 6th century. It is worth noting that a person has always sought to move at the highest possible speed, and someday we will definitely fly at hypersonic speeds. Hypersound begins where the flight speed exceeds 8 Machs - a little more than 330 thousand km / h (Mach number is the speed of sound propagation in the air - 1100 m / s or 3 km / h). At present, supersonic aircraft, in particular combat fighters, can fly at a speed of more than 3,5 Mach (about 2 thousand km / h), while the Concord civilian aircraft produced XNUMX with a small Mach. It is logical that the next stage of development aviation should become hypersonic flights.

Today, hypersound is 2 problems. The first is to create the engine itself, which would provide the necessary energy to the device, and the second - thermal protection. When any apparatus flies in the dense layers of the earth's atmosphere at hypersonic speed, its skin is heated to very high temperatures due to friction. For this reason, the power plant, which should create the necessary driving impulse for an aircraft, needs sufficiently serious thermal protection. Today, this problem is planned to be solved as follows. It is planned to install a special passive thermal protection, a kind of heat insulating coating, similar to the one used on the domestic Buran or its predecessor - the American shuttle. Such protection simultaneously protects the shell of the aircraft and at the same time rejects heat from it.

In the USSR, at the end of the 80 of the last century, the concept of a fundamentally different hypersonic aircraft was proposed. The author of this concept was Vladimir Lvovich Freistadt, who in those years worked in the St. Petersburg NIPGS - Scientific Research Enterprise of hypersonic systems, which was part of the Leninets holding. Vladimir Freistadt proposed not to protect a hypersonic device moving with great speed from heat, but rather to let heat in to increase the energy resource of the device. According to the proposed concept, the Ajax hypersonic aircraft (GLA) was an open non-isolated aerothermodynamic system in which during the entire atmospheric flight a part of the kinetic energy of the flowing HVA hypersonic air flow would be assimilated by its onboard subsystems, transforming into electrical and chemical energy and increasing the overall life of the device . Such a project solved the global issue of cooling a hypersonic aircraft, as well as many other problems. The concept of the proposal in the Ajax project was revolutionary, it had a large coefficient of novelty, and therefore a great technical risk.
Hypersonic aircraft "Ajax"

The highlight of the Soviet project "Ajax", which was originally created as a response to the US plans to create a hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft Aurora, and later transformed into a hypersonic long-range aircraft, or the first stage for launching a large payload into orbit completely different approach in which everything was the opposite. The heat from the Soviet apparatus was not rejected, it was planned to be used by launching it inside the power plant. Those parts of the aircraft that needed to be cooled and that overheat at high speeds were supposed to be surrounded by another shell. It turned out a kind of double hull, the cavity of which was supposed to be filled with a catalyst (various technologies were discussed) and it was planned to pass a mixture of kerosene and water through it. Instead of a heat-insulating solid layer on the "Ajax" it was planned to use a liquid jacket that would protect the power plant, with the fuel acting as a cooler.

But it was not the newest and most important. According to the developers, the most important was the fact that under the influence of high temperature - more than 1000 degrees Celsius - and the presence of a catalyst would endothermic catalytic reaction. That is, there would be a selection of heat from the outer shell of the aircraft, cooling the skin to those temperatures that modern science is able to cope with today.

In this case, the heat proposed to use for the operation of the power plant. The excess heat, which was formed on the catalyst from water with kerosene, tears radicals (long hydrocarbon chains of kerosene). As a result, methane and hydrogen were to be produced directly onboard the hypersonic aircraft. The fact is that you can design and build a supersonic combustion chamber only on the fuel that will contain hydrogen. However, it may be a mixture of hydrogen with kerosene, methane, or something else, but hydrogen must be present. Without hydrogen, simply do not build a combustion chamber for a hypersonic power plant. Thus, the task of removing excess heat on the Ajax was solved in such a way that it would generate such necessary hydrogen directly on board the aircraft, this was the main grain and the basis of all the concepts.

As a propulsion engine, it was planned to use a magneto-plasma-chemical engine, which included an MHD accelerator and a magnetogasdynamic generator. Due to the deceleration of the hypersonic flow by the magnetic field, optimal conditions were created for the combustion of the fuel in the supersonic combustion chamber. In addition, electricity was generated up to 100 MW. If necessary, increase the flight speed of the MHD accelerator could further accelerate the combustion products, which would allow the device to develop speed at the level of 25 maxims, as well as provide it with access to near-earth orbit.

It was assumed that the GLA will be able to overcome the distance to 20 thousand km., Without refueling at a speed higher than 10 thousand km / h, and also to rise to an altitude of 30-60 km. At the same time, having a sufficiently powerful on-board electric power, he could solve problems of a truly planetary scale. For example, to ensure the delivery of goods and people to any point on Earth, spending no more than 2 hours on it. Could be used for the implementation of environmental and meteorological watch over the surface of the Earth. It could also be used to assist spacecraft in near-earth orbits or ships in distress in the oceans.

Considering all this, it is worth noting that engineer Vladimir Freistadt was accused for a long time that he was working on creating a perpetual motion machine and that he had no scientific approach to work. It’s ridiculous to talk about it now, but in those years it really was about Freistadt violating the basic physical laws. As a result, only the commission headed by the Vice-President of the Academy of Sciences Velihov and which was established in 1987 year, was able to reach a verdict - the concept of “Ajax” is not a perpetual motion machine and does not violate physical laws. At the same time, it should be recognized that this kind of collisions quite often occurred in storiesespecially when creating completely new technologies. In this case, many now believe that this is the way to make a hypersonic engine. Thus, a beautiful idea proved its ability to exist.
Tests of the American hypersonic aircraft X43A

It should be recognized that research in the field of hypersonic flights within the framework of the Ajax concept was fundamental to NIPGS. In particular, the principle of operation was proposed and the main components for a chemical heat recovery reactor with a catalyst were created, which was placed under the airframe design paneling. In addition, the problem of active energy interaction of the GLA with the airflow around it was solved. At the same time, calculations showed that at all speeds and flight modes, the temperature of the elements of the Ajax glider will not exceed 800-850 degrees Celsius. And during the tests that were carried out at TsAGI, it was found that the developed hydrocarbon fuel burns faster than just hydrogen.

As a result, by coincidence, at the moment Ajax repeats the fate of the Tu-144 or Buran. At the same time, Ajax was never embodied in the metal and the reason for this is the lack of funding. At the same time, the United States is actively working on the creation of hypersonic aircraft, which means that Russia may find itself in the role of catching up, spending billions of dollars on the development or copying of foreign products.

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  1. mark1
    mark1 22 March 2013 08: 03 New
    But it could become a national project, in this case a large degree of novelty is only a plus. Unfortunately, all breakthrough ideas go nowhere - MAX. AJAX. RAX even CLIPPER replaced with a space bucket.
  2. Skarte
    Skarte 22 March 2013 08: 18 New
    Yes, there was potential in the USSR ... There is progress, there is a project, and technology has taken huge steps during this time ... You can quietly continue to develop the project. I hope that all of Rogozin’s words will be valid and Russia will create a worthwhile project, even if we are not the first, but we will know “We could do it” ... And for the most part, we have always been catching up, but this did not interfere we were a Super Power and it did not stop us from making many countries in the World nervous, and first of all the USA ... We Were, There Will Be !!!
    1. Andrey57
      Andrey57 22 March 2013 10: 56 New
      Not only catching up, but often in the lead - space, rockets, technology, so far in a number of areas the mattresses are catching up with us and they are not very successful, although we have been in a drift for a long time, Kuznetsov’s engines, which were made for a very long time, although they are sold mattresses, they could not reproduce for 20 years - all their options exploded ...
    2. rubber_duck
      rubber_duck 22 March 2013 12: 07 New
      It excels in its qualities: firearms and reliability are all known to us samples. (c) Rogozin

      Quote: Skarte
      I hope that all the words of Rogozin will be valid

      Oh well...
    3. Cheloveck
      Cheloveck 23 March 2013 05: 05 New
      Quote: Skarte
      .Yes and for the most part, we have always been catching up

      It is strange that after our 20-year halt, the "high-tech" west did not catch up with "these Russian barbarians."
  3. mark1
    mark1 22 March 2013 08: 40 New
    Interesting - where did the comments go? Well, it’s not difficult for me, I’ll repeat myself -
    AJAKS could become a national project, a large degree of novelty in this case is only a plus. Unfortunately, all the breakthrough projects go nowhere. AJAX, MAX. RAX ... even CLIPPER replaced with a space bucket
    1. Andrey57
      Andrey57 22 March 2013 10: 54 New
      Haven’t gone anywhere laughing this koment - repeat hi
      1. mark1
        mark1 22 March 2013 11: 22 New
        2 hours passed between my question and your answer. But thanks anyway for clarification
  4. pavlo
    pavlo 22 March 2013 09: 34 New
    Well, in any case, the TU-160 flies, certainly not Ajax, but still, their Concord does not fly!
    1. Samuray
      Samuray 22 March 2013 10: 55 New
      And where does the concord and the Tu-160? There are absolutely two different planes, especially since the analogue of the Tu-144 concord doesn’t fly too
    2. gregor6549
      gregor6549 22 March 2013 11: 00 New
      Why compare the TU-160 with Concord. Well, if you compare it with anything, then with B1, which both flew and flies. And Concord needs to be compared with TU144. By the way, ТУ144 left the stage much earlier than Concord, in fact, never having taken up its duties, unlike Concord, which was operated for a long time on passenger airlines. By the way, Concord was ruined not by his flying properties, but by someone's elementary negligence, which led to the fact that on the runway with which Concord took off there was a strip of metal that had come off another plane that took off from that strip in front of Concord. But while they established the true cause of the Concord catastrophe, for now, yes, they put a bold cross on the Concord, and not least thanks to competitors. And when they figured it out, the train was already bye bye, left.
      And the “Tu144 death was to blame for their own domestic officials and pilots who wanted to show the kuz'kin mother to foreign competitors and who drove the TU144 into an airborne mode at an air show. And then everything was just like with Concord. Lost reputation, Tupolev’s convulsive attempts to restore her and as a result of the "funeral" of a very promising car
      1. cucun
        cucun 22 March 2013 17: 34 New
        I will clarify that the Tu 144 made regular passenger flights. In particular, on the route Moscow - Alma-Ata ....
        1. No_more
          No_more 22 March 2013 18: 34 New
          These were economically unjustified routes.
          1. fzr1000
            fzr1000 23 March 2013 02: 40 New
            Just like with Concord. Continuous losses.
      2. venik
        venik 16 July 2016 15: 01 New
        Quote: gregor6549
        But while they established the true cause of the Concorde disaster, for now yes, they put a bold cross on Concord

        Here you are mistaken! This disaster just SPEED UP the end of the project. Concords lived out their lives and no one provided for new orders. The reason is simple - the plane howled economically unprofitable (high fuel consumption, difficult inter-flight maintenance, etc.). In addition, on takeoff and landing it rumbled terribly, which caused numerous suits (but there really weren’t without competitors).

        By the way, the very same reason, and by no means a catastrophe at the air show, “ruined” the Tu-144. This car turned out to be so "gluttonous" that it could only "reach" from Moscow only to Alma-Ata (where it flew). Yes, and the requirements for the quality and length of the runway there were extremely stringent, inter-flight service - complex and expensive. In general, the car was completely unprofitable! Alas, it really is (I know from experts).
  5. Forest
    Forest 22 March 2013 10: 33 New
    Jet engines, modern metallurgy and silicon electronics have reached their climax, without breakthroughs in fundamental sciences, a further technological leap is impossible.
  6. Iraclius
    Iraclius 22 March 2013 12: 17 New
    Unfortunately, the article says it right - the concept has huge scientific novelty and great technical risks. Therefore, it requires huge financial costs for R&D. In addition, it is still not clear where exactly such an apparatus is needed, excluding the needs of outer space and the military sphere of application. Americans back in the 60's. calculations proved the complete unprofitability of supersonic civil aviation. Concord and Tu-144 only confirmed the calculations. Alas, under current conditions it is more profitable to use relatively slow-moving wide-body liners and large-capacity trucks.
    In the future, due to the exhaustion of oil reserves, the situation will only worsen.
    The concept of Ajax itself has many ambiguities. Which catalyst are you planning to use? For example, platinum-iridium catalysts are used in catalytic reforming plants at refineries. But their specific gravity is very large, and the mass in the reactor units is tens of tons. Further, how are they going to maneuver such a collar at speeds of ~ 10000 km / h? How will the propulsion system be controlled in transient conditions? In general, how appropriate is the concept of precisely manned hypersound, given the progress in AI and remote control systems?
    1. No_more
      No_more 22 March 2013 18: 33 New
      Dual purpose: orbiting astronautics and cargo transportation + inaccessibility for missile defense systems.
      1. Iraclius
        Iraclius 22 March 2013 19: 05 New
        If something flies, then it can always be caught up and knocked down. Moreover, the maneuver for such speeds is very difficult, because overloads - Mama Do not Cry. Again - is the meaning in a manned vehicle? What makes rockets worse? Maybe then it is better to invest in the creation of fundamentally new engines for launch vehicles?
  7. Evgeniy46
    Evgeniy46 22 March 2013 13: 55 New
    officials are really to blame for the death of the Tu-144 in Le Bourget. According to their decision, the ACS was turned on before the show on the plane, which, with the threat of a collision with the Mirage, brought the Tu-144 to extreme load levels. This was stated in the film Tu-144. The Battle for Supersound. Plus, the scourge of our super-sonic was the undeveloped engines. By the way, the Concorde then crashed just five miles from the crash site of the Tu-144.
    And on the topic. our GLA was not lucky to be born shortly before the collapse of the State. Projects ready for 80-90% are now slowly getting a ticket to life (Mi-38, Mi-28, Su-34, MiG-29K and others). Those that were on paper, individual nodes or demonstrators, went down in History (Tu-2000, MiG-1.44)
  8. USNik
    USNik 22 March 2013 14: 52 New
    If fuel acted as thermal protection, then in theory with the development of fuel the apparatus ceased to be hypersonic? And of course, an absolutely breakthrough idea and concept.
    1. Evrepid
      Evrepid 22 March 2013 15: 56 New
      Let us even say that in the case of such protection against overheating, a smooth transition to hypersonic flight must be provided, so that it can cool down to the end of the fuel, and a ban on access to hypersound with a small amount of fuel ...
      But one can, after all, be cooled not only by fuel with the same flow of incoming air, through a decompressor, with the discharge of air back to the inlet compression chamber, for example.
      And as for advanced technology, yes ...
  9. washi
    washi 22 March 2013 17: 57 New
    How many Soviet developments we lost, but acquired the United States.
  10. No_more
    No_more 22 March 2013 18: 29 New
    Well, as a graduate of an aerospace university, I can add something here.
    Hypersound for civilian purposes is absolutely unnecessary in the current environment. The fact is that it is good to carry goods and people faster in itself, but it turns out to be too expensive and to pay for the purchase of such an airplane by transportation, you need more distances than those available on our planet. This is how to build a plant that can very quickly make, say, spoons - 1000 spoons a day, but this village will be supplied with a village of 200 people. That is, it is certainly good, technological and productive, but unprofitable for such a scale.
    But for orbiting astronautics - the withdrawal of goods and people into orbit is already commensurate in scale and, moreover, the cost. In my opinion, reusable devices are much more profitable both economically and technologically and even ecologically than disposable missiles. It is in this area that such projects need to be moved.
    Alas, we have had a scary “rocket lobby” from the Soviet era, which grew out of the fact that at the time when it got into space for ideological struggle and for an arms race, it was much faster to build reusable rockets than such an apparatus - not allowed the technology of those times.
    1. Iraclius
      Iraclius 22 March 2013 19: 08 New
      Plus, comrade! As a graduate of an aerospace university, can you tell me where to get the calculation of the economic feasibility of civilian supersonic airliners? I read either a brochure or an article on the Net; everything was painted. Now I can not find! recourse
  11. Aiviar
    Aiviar 22 March 2013 19: 15 New
    For a very long time and everywhere there are restrictions on conducting supersonic flights over densely populated territories. This applies even to military aviation. And today, very few young people have heard what kind of thunder a shock wave is produced by an airplane flying on a heart sound. In the sixties, in the Soviet cities it happened and the glass flew out. (in Chernigov, for example, where I then lived next door to the flight school) And Concord, by the way, acceleration to supersonic speed for this reason was allowed only over the ocean.
    A lot is written about the projects of hypersonic aircraft, about the aerodynamics, energy and thermal protection of such devices, but in no article I met on this topic I had to read how it was supposed to solve the problem of their noise. Whereas without her decision, one cannot even dream of transporting passengers and goods at such speeds in the atmosphere. Increasing flight altitude is not a solution at all. The Chelyabinsk meteorite, for example, after entering the atmosphere became precisely a high-altitude hypersonic object and the first of a series of "booms" it produced was not at all the sound of an explosion - but the impact of the front of the sound wave simply from its flight.
  12. Iraclius
    Iraclius 22 March 2013 19: 20 New
    Quote: Aiviar
    as expected to solve the problem of their noise

    But no way. It is difficult to argue with the laws of thermodynamics - the shock wave cannot be disposed of. Therefore, in my amateurish opinion, the exit will remain the same - flying on a subsonic route to deserted areas or the ocean, there is acceleration and access to cruising speed. request
  13. Justme
    Justme 22 March 2013 20: 12 New
    Honestly - it looks somewhat unrealizable ..
    MHD systems require very strong magnets (and magnets - this is such a heavy load ..). It would be desirable for one of the competent specialists to carry out estimates and bring them ...
    From my practice, I know that to make an electrical system with an equivalent magnetic pressure of 0.1 atm is to try very well ... at the same time to have a gas back pressure of 0.1 atm and much more .. are the usual realities of life ... and here you can’t see a simple balance that MHD will manage to twist everything cool ..

    At its core, the system resembles a conventional ramjet engine. Maybe it was worth stopping at this option (with internal or external combustion, as was tested by the Americans for Aurora ..)

    And there is still a suspicion that in order for the system from the MHD generator and MHD accelerator to somehow turn on, balance and work, an additional source of electricity with a power of at least 5-20% of the power in the generator-accelerator circuit is needed ..
    And here we arrived ... (after all, there are no such sources) ...

    -------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------

    And yet - if the authors want to refer to some authorities - I’m interested in the opinion of specialists from the Bauman Moscow Aviation Technical University, Moscow Aviation Institute, .. - that is, those “horses” that dragged space and aviation projects of the USSR,
    Velikhov - at least for me - is a party person.
  14. Evgeniy46
    Evgeniy46 23 March 2013 00: 15 New
    Quote: Aiviar
    For a very long time and everywhere there are restrictions on conducting supersonic flights over densely populated territories

    But at heights of 10000-15000 m for Tu-144 and more than 20000 m for GLs like Tu-2000 and Ajax, will the wave not dissipate?
  15. za_zik
    za_zik 23 March 2013 03: 45 New
    I watch komenty and am surprised. They worked on this for 10 years + they continue with amers. But it turns out there are people who rummage about them. Do not forget that initially all topics are military, so many opinions are not relevant here
    1. mark1
      mark1 23 March 2013 08: 53 New
      I put a plus, but nevertheless I note - the article was posted on this site for this purpose, so that we, due to our modest knowledge, would discuss this problem and express our attitude to it
  16. mladenec
    mladenec 25 March 2013 18: 46 New
    The author is clearly not a patriot, or such a feature of the story of non-thinking individuals,
    Currently, supersonic aircraft, in particular combat fighters, can fly at a speed of more than 3 Mach (about 3,5 thousand km / h)
    there is no hint of the homeland of this masterpiece of the “fighter,” but he is such an instant, 25-31, immediately following
    and the Concord civilian plane gave out 2 with a small Mach. It is logical that the next stage in the development of aviation should be hypersonic flights.
    , crap! and so modestly silent about the analogue of that 144, the information war in action !!!!!!! I didn’t see any further reading
    P.S. I noticed lately when in some places I’m watching how our plane crashed so quickly the name of the design bureau, the plane itself, Russia will remember something like: “Today a Russian-made Tu-154 plane crashed in Mozambique”, and if they say that 10 times, it’s worth they’ll screw it up modestly like this: “... the plane crashed” neither the name nor the company ??? !!!!!!! ???? ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Search the first that I found, like today's news см. с 4:50
    I don’t think about our links.
  17. mladenec
    mladenec 25 March 2013 19: 02 New
    also from 4:50
  18. Alexey M
    Alexey M 31 March 2013 23: 13 New
    The apparatus of a new type of earth air space? And the topic was about flying in a plasma cloud? It is necessary to learn to go out into space by plane and such a device is the first step.
  19. Kostik
    Kostik zaika 18 November 2014 20: 07 New
    I have long read about Ajax with Maxim Kalashnikov in his book Broken Empire Sword. I continue to believe that this magnificent machine will be created on time.
    Although this belief may look naive.