The nearest target application for a pulse detonation engine (PDE) remains a US Navy requirement for a new strike missile with an objective speed of between Mach 2.5 and 4, which the service believes could achieve initial operating capability around 2011. “Given the appropriate funding levels, our development roadmaps are geared to a Technology Readiness Level 6 flight demonstrator engine that would be available in the 2008-9 timeframe,” says Gary Lidstone, divisional manager of Pratt & Whitney’s Seattle AeroSciences Center. Simeon Austin, the company’s director of advanced engine programmes, says “over the next two-to-three-year period we could do a flight demonstration and by the end of the decade we would be ready to do a development programme with a first application.”

Source: Flight International