Abstract：The propulsion system fuel consumption must be accurately predicted for aircraft missions. A theoretical analysis of a hypersonic aircraft with a “boost-cruise-glide” flight mission profile powered by a rocket based combined cycle (RBCC) engine is used to predict the fuel consumption of the aircraft and to optimize the fuel consumption. The fuel consumption analysis of periodic hypersonic cruise trajectories shows that the fuel consumption decreases with increasing initial cruise velocity, larger flight-path angles and larger flight-path angles for cruising. As the flight dynamic pressure increases, the fuel consumption first decreases but then increases with a step change. The optimization results show that the hypersonic cruise stage should have 46 skip-periods with a minimum fuel consumption of about 32 tons for a two-hour global-reaching hypersonic aircraft with an initial weight of 100 tons and a lift-drag ratio of 4. The optimal results show that the fuel consumption prediction model is reasonable. The present study can guide the design of combined cycle propulsion systems.
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