Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences

First Advisor

Brian A. Kish

Second Advisor

Ralph D. Kimberlin

Third Advisor

Stephen K. Cusick

Fourth Advisor

David Fleming


Larsen Motorsports is a local jet racing facility in Melbourne, Florida. Larsen Motorsports is a key partner with Florida Tech. Larsen Motorsports has a highly skilled manufacturing team along with a robust manufacturing capability. Through their team’s many years of racing Larsen Motorsports has tuned and developed engineering for both the J-60 and J-85 jet engines. These modifications vary from small design changes to production of components to entire system redesigns. One of the most extensive redesigns their team has developed is the afterburner section of the General Electric J-85 jet engine. Their team has designed and tuned the entire afterburner section, including tailpipe, fuel manifold, and flame holder. Larsen has tested many iterations of its flame holder to develop its current 3D octagonal design. These past tests have been primarily based on prior experiences working with these engines. The task for this thesis is to use the knowledge obtained from the Masters of Flight Test Engineering curriculum combined with my professional expertise and resources to optimize their design further. I will provide Larsen Motorsports the necessary CAD models that will allow fabrication consistency in their baseline design and offer the ability to conduct analyses design. Establishing baseline performance data will be essential when assessing subsequent design changes. Using finite element analysis (FEA), and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques, analytical performance data can be compared to instrumented data. Larsen Motorsports uses a General Electric J- 85 jet engine to power all their current jet cars. This engine is chosen for its power to weight ratio and availability. Larsen takes many of the unusable accessories off the stock to reduce complexity as well as weight. Using the expertise of

Christopher Larsen, President of Larsen Motorsports, and knowledge gained from the Flight Test curriculum, I will develop CAD models, conduct analyses, and provide test procedures for future performance increases. Using the files and tools within this thesis I will provide Larsen Motorsports the information required to manage and maintain their platform. While this thesis's focus is primarily on the engine, specifically the afterburner, the utilization of these modern design practices has applications throughout their vehicle. I look forward to delivering these models to Larsen Motorsports and continue to work with them in their development of their racing team.


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