Why aren't air turborocket engines used in jet fighters?

Few Third World countries have the capability to manufacture high quality turbine blades. Thus, why not use air turborocket engines for the time being?

Also, during World War II, rocket fighters like the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet were developed. They were fast but since they excessively consumed fuel, their range was reduced. Using an air turbo rocket, it might be possible to increase the range of the Me 163 or similar such aircraft. So, why is nobody looking into it?

I feel air turborockets will be cheaper than a pure gas turbine in a fighter jet configuration. Why is no one pursuing this idea?

  • $\begingroup$ Why would they want to pursue an ineffective, outdated technology, that in the end will be more expensive than just buying modern stuff? $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Sep 24, 2021 at 12:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure why you mentioned manufacturing turbine blades. An air turborocket also requires a compressor driven by a turbine, so if some country/company/whatever can't make good turbine blades, they're not going to be able to make air turborockets any more than they are any other kind of jet engine. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2021 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ Of note: there are very few* ME163s being produced these days, so improving their range isn't a high priority. *i.e. exactly zero. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Sep 24, 2021 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ Why would 3rd world countries want to manufacture jet fighters in the first place? Without even considering that there's a lot that goes into a jet fighter besides the engine, why bother when they can get them essentially for free from whatever 1st world country wants their support. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Sep 25, 2021 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


Listed under Benefits on the Wiki page link edited into your question:

The benefit of this setup is increased specific impulse over that of a rocket. For the same carried mass of propellant as a rocket motor, the overall output of the air turborocket is much higher.
Emphasis added

Since most "jet fighters" use jet engines (or low-bypass turbo fans), not rockets this doesn't really seem to be a worthwhile avenue to pursue.

The same section continues:

In addition, it provides thrust throughout a much wider speed range than a ramjet, yet is much cheaper and easier to control than a gas turbine engine.
Emphasis added

Where a ramjet is:

A ramjet, sometimes referred to as a flying stovepipe or an athodyd (aero thermodynamic duct), is a form of airbreathing jet engine that uses the engine's forward motion to compress incoming air without an axial compressor or a centrifugal compressor. Because ramjets cannot produce thrust at zero airspeed, they cannot move an aircraft from a standstill.
From Wiki entry linked just below

There are very few ramjet powered planes, so the air turborocket would have a fairly small market when it goes looking for engines to replace.


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