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The Revolutionary Turbine Accelerator (RTA)/Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) project is investigating turbine-based propulsion systems for access to space. NASA Glenn Research Center and GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) planned to develop a ground demonstrator engine for validation testing. The demonstrator (RTA-1) is a variable cycle, turbofan ramjet designed to transition from an augmented turbofan to a ramjet that produces the thrust required to accelerate the vehicle from Sea Level Static (SLS) to Mach 4. The RTA-1 is designed to accommodate a large variation in bypass ratios from sea level static to Mach 4 conditions. Key components of this engine are new, such as a nickel alloy fan, advanced trapped vortex combustor, a Variable Area Bypass Injector (VABI), radial flameholders, and multiple fueling zones. A means to mitigate risks to the RTA development program was the use of extensive component rig tests and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis.
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