General Electric Aerospace, a subsidiary of General Electric, has recently celebrated a significant achievement in the development of its latest hypersonic engine. Engineers successfully conducted remote tests on the hypersonic dual-mode ramjet (DMRJ) engine, a detonating combustion engine integrated into a ramjet. Collaborating with companies like Raytheon, GE believes this engine could revolutionize hypersonic propulsion, enabling faster, more efficient, and longer-range flight.

The testing took place at the Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, where the DMRJ engine was set up on a rig within a supersonic flow stream. The engine, designed to achieve speeds exceeding Mach 5 (4,000 mph), holds the potential to power hypersonic vehicles, promising enhanced efficiency and extended ranges.

Over the past year, the GE Aerospace team has been actively working on the innovative DMRJ with remote detonating combustion (RDC). Unlike traditional air-breathing DMRJ propulsion systems requiring speeds over Mach 3, GE engineers are pioneering a rotating detonation-enabled dual-mode ramjet capable of optimal performance at lower Mach speeds. This breakthrough is anticipated to significantly increase the range and efficiency of air vehicles.

Last year, GE Aerospace strategically acquired Innoveering, a company specializing in hypersonic propulsion. By combining RDC technology with Innoveering’s dual-mode ramjet engine capabilities, GE Aerospace aims to advance fuel combustion efficiency, resulting in higher thrust generation, reduced engine size, and lighter weight compared to conventional jet engines.

Mark Rettig, Vice President and General Manager of Edison Works Business and Technology Development at GE Aerospace, expressed confidence in their progress and strategic alignment with customer needs. He highlighted the successful development, integration, and demonstration of GE’s technologies, emphasizing the company’s commitment to providing unique hypersonic propulsion systems.

Rettig emphasized the team’s remarkable progress, completing the DMRJ with RDC demonstration in just 12 months. The next milestone is to demonstrate a full-scale DMRJ with RDC in the coming year, staying on track to achieve their goals.

Amy Gowder, President and CEO of GE Aerospace, Defense, and Systems, credited the success to over ten years of RDC work and the acquisition of Innoveering. She expressed confidence in the breakthrough’s implications for hypersonic propulsion and ramjets.

As part of the ongoing break-up of the GE conglomerate, GE Aerospace is set to become a standalone company between March and July next year.

By Impact Lab