Friday, 13 July 2012


A ramjet, sometimes referred to as a stovepipe jet, or an athodyd, is a form of airbreathing jet engine using the engine's forward motion to compress incoming air, without a rotary compressor. Ramjets cannot produce thrust at zero airspeed and thus cannot move an aircraft from a standstill. Ramjets therefore require some other propulsion system to accelerate the vehicle to a speed where the ramjet begins to produce thrust. Ramjets require considerable forward speed to operate well, and as a class work most efficiently at speeds around Mach 3. This type of jet can operate up to speeds of Mach 6.

Ramjets can be particularly useful in applications requiring a small and simple engine for high speed use, such as missiles, while weapon designers are looking to use ramjet technology in artillery shells to give added range: it is anticipated that a 120-mm mortar shell, if assisted by a ramjet, could attain a range of 22 mi (35 km).They have also been used successfully, though not efficiently, as tip jets on helicopter rotors.

Ramjets are frequently confused with pulsejets, which use an intermittent combustion, but ramjets employ a continuous combustion process, and are a quite distinct type of jet engine.