A theory for stability and buzz pulsation amplitude in ram jets and an experimental investigation including scale effects

Robert L. Trimpi
Jan 1956

From a theory developed on a quasi-one-dimensional-flow basis, it is found that the stability of the ram jet is dependent upon the instantaneous values of mass flow and total pressure recovery of the supersonic diffuser and immediate neighboring subsonic diffuser. Conditions for stable and unstable flow are presented. The theory developed in the report is in agreement with the experimental data of NACA-TN-3506 and NACA-RM-L50K30. A simple theory for predicting the approximate amplitude of small pressure pulsation in terms of mass-flow decrement from minimum-stable mass flow is developed and found to agree with experiments. Cold-flow tests at a Mach number of 1.94 of ram-jet models having scale factors of 3.15:1 and Reynolds number ratios of 4.75:1 with several supersonic diffuser configurations showed only small variations in performance between geometrically similar models. The predominant variation in steady-flow performance resulted from the larger boundary layer in the combustion chamber of the low Reynolds number models. The conditions at which buzz originated were nearly the same for the same supersonic diffuser (cowling-position angle) configurations in both large and small diameter models. There was no appreciable variation in stability limits of any of the models when the combustion- chamber length was increased by a factor of three. The unsteady-flow performance and wave patterns were also similar when considered on a reduced-frequency basis determined from the relative lengths of the model. The negligible effect of Reynolds number on stability of the off-design configurations was not anticipated in view of the importance of boundary layer to stability, and this result should not be construed to be generally applicable. (author)

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