BRUCE FRISCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BRUCE FRISCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scram accelerator projectile. The projectile used to be fired in tests with a Scram accelerator gun. Unlike a regular gun whose projectile is accele- rated by an initial explosive charge, a Scram accelerator gun is different. The gun barrel is filled with a gaseous fuel. When the projectile is fired, it compresses the fuel as it goes along and is continually accelerated reaching faster and faster speeds. The projectile is thus designed for compression which takes place inside the gun barrel. The name "Scram accelerator" derives from "Scramjet" (supersonic combustion ramjet). This supersonic jet relies on compression of air/fuel through the engine to power it at high speeds.
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