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Veiculo hipersônico brasileiro 14-x
Role Hypersonic Unmanned aerial vehicle
National origin Brazil
Design group IEAv, Brazilian Air Force
Status In development
Primary user Brazil

The 14-X is a prototype of a Brazilian unmanned hypersonic aircraft (UAV) in development, named after Alberto Santos-Dumont's 14-Bis. [2] This aircraft will be equipped with a scramjet engine, which is integrated in the fuselage and has no moving parts. The operating principle is that, during the flight, air is compressed by the geometry and speed of the vehicle directed to the engine at the bottom of the aircraft. Hydrogen is used as fuel. The vehicle will use the "waverider concept". A wave of friction at the bottom of the aircraft provides sustainability. Both the aircraft and the engine are of a completely Brazilian construction. [1]

The 14-X is expected to make its first test flight in 2020. [3] [4] The aircraft will be launched by a rocket, because scramjet engines need an initial boost until they reach the combustion point, [1] which is a velocity of 7,000 km / h. It will be able to reach ten times the speed of sound (12,258 km / h). [5] [6]

With the development of this technology, Brazil now has the unprecedented opportunity to remain at the forefront of an advanced line of research at a strategic moment, since no country in the world currently dominates the technology of hypersonic motors. The other countries that seek to dominate this technology are today the United States, Japan, Australia, Russia, France and China.


The project was conceived in the year 2007, when captain-engineer Tiago Cavalcanti Rolim started a master's degree in ITA and was approved with a thesis on the "waverider" configuration. Today, the theory is about to become reality. The first test of 14-X on a flight, still without the separation of the rocket used for the initial acceleration, will occur in the coming years. In the next stages, the Brazilian Air Force plans two other experiments: one with scramjet engines, but with the aircraft still coupled, and another with full operation, when the maximum speed is to be reached. According to Colonel-engineer Marco Antonio Sala Minucci, who has been director of the IEAv for four years and is one of the parents of 14-X, "if the tests are successful, Brazil will reach the top of the technology, although with a very more modest than that of the Americans. "[1] [2]

In the second half of 2007, the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEAv) began testing with a reduced experimental model of 14-X.

It is an aircraft with 80 cm in length, constructed of stainless steel, that is equipped with sensors of pressure, heat flow and force for a series of tests in the T3.

The wind tunnel tests simulate the flight conditions of the small-scale experimental model, on which pressure and temperature sensors are installed to collect the data. A high-speed camcorder (with two million frames per second) allows visualization of the airflow over the fuselage.

The next step will be to build a model for flight. It will be an aircraft 2.5 m long and weighing around 300 kg. It will be launched by a rocket until it reaches the hypersonic combustion point. This is because the engine will not have acceleration capability from scratch. The launch of the 14-X can be carried out by a Brazilian VS-40 sounding rocket or a Pegasus-type rocket, which put the SCD-1 and SCD-2 satellites of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) into orbit. [1]

The 14-X is being developed by the IEAv (Institute of Advanced Studies), more specifically in the Laboratory of Aerotermodynamics and Hypersonic Prof. Henry T. Nagamatsu [7] in São José dos Campos, São Paulo. It will use atmospheric air itself as an oxidizer, ie for the burning of liquid hydrogen (fuel). And it will only take the oxygen necessary for the burning of the fuel in the path outside the terrestrial atmosphere.

It will be launched by a rocket VSB-30 and to reach 100 thousand feet of altitude will be fired and should arrive at Mach 10 (10 times the speed of the sound).

The 14-X engine will not be a piece apart, as is currently the case. It will only work integrated to the aircraft. The tests of this hypersonic motor began in the month of October of 2009. [1]

The spacecraft as a whole draws air from the atmosphere to the burning of fuel by the engine. With this, the 14-X will be a formidable testing platform for innovative concepts. [1]

During the flight, the air will be compressed by the geometry and speed of the vehicle itself and will be directed to a chamber in the lower part of the vehicle, where it will also be injected hydrogen gas, that enters into supersonic combustion.

Specifications (14X)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: ()
  • Wingspan: 4 (2 m)
  • Height: ()
  • Empty weight: 250 kg ()
  • Loaded weight: 400 kg ()


See also[edit]


External links[edit]