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AFRL Pulsed Detonation Engine

DAYTON, Ohio - Long EZ engine on display in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - AFRL Pulsed Detonation Engine on display in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) personnel developed this Pulsed Detonation Engine (PDE) in the 2000s using mostly inexpensive, off-the-shelf automotive components. The engine worked by detonating the fuel-air mixture in repeated, controlled explosions. The resulting shockwaves created a peak thrust up to about 200 lbs. On Jan. 31, 2008, a modified Scaled Composites Long-EZ completed the first manned flight of an aircraft powered by a PDE.

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