Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne X-51A WaveRider Team Vies for Collier Trophy

Feb. 23, 2011
The hypersonic X-51A WaveRider vehicle last May in the longest-ever supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) powered flight.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is among seven nominees competing for one of the most prestigious awards in aerospace, the National Aeronautic Association's (NAA) Robert J. Collier Trophy. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is being nominated as part of the team that powered the hypersonic X-51A WaveRider vehicle last May in the longest-ever supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) powered flight. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

The other X-51A team members are the U.S. Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and The Boeing Company. The Collier Trophy winner will be announced March 15 at NAA's Spring Awards Luncheon.

The Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne scramjet engine is the world's first air breathing hydrocarbon-fueled and -cooled propulsion system capable of powering vehicles at hypersonic speeds. The X-51A WaveRider demonstrated a number of critical "firsts" and achievements during its 3:30 minutes of flight, including scramjet ignition, stabilized combustion and thermal balance, and acceleration.

"This historic flight has quite literally changed the course of aviation history, to the point where we can now be confident that scramjet power will be practical for transporting humans and payloads across the globe and into space at 6,000 mph, while also giving the U.S. military an effective tool to respond rapidly to threats," said Steve Bouley, Vice President, Launch Vehicle & Hypersonic Systems, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "The X-51A team would be an appropriate recipient of the 100th presentation of the Collier Trophy, named for a renaissance man whose interest in aviation did so much to encourage breakthroughs such as that demonstrated by the X-51A WaveRider."

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. For more information about Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, go to Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is headquartered in Canoga Park, Calif., and has facilities in Huntsville, Ala.; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Stennis Space Center, Miss.  

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.

SOURCE Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne