Review of the potential of silanes as rocket/scramjet fuels

Bernhard Hidding, Michael Pfitzner, Domenico Simone, Claudio Bruno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Experimental use as well as theoretical considerations regarding silanes as fuels for spacecrafts and supersonic flight are reviewed. The historical circumstances leading to the utilization of monosilane as a fuel additive for scramjets are highlighted and milestones in the chemical research on silanes are summarized. Recent developments such as the use of monosilane as an ignition aid in the NASA X-43A scramjet flights as well as general progress in silicon hydride research, including liquid higher silanes and the resulting potential for the propulsion field are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-388
Number of pages10
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008

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