Encyclopedia Astronautica
AirLaunch Propane Engine


Air Launch Lox/Propane rocket engine. 106.8 kN. Flow calibration, ignition and initial short duration tests completed in 2005 of this upper stage rocket engine with application to future small spacecraft launchers.

AirLaunch completed flow calibration, ignition and initial short duration tests of a liquid oxygen and propane powered upper stage rocket engine that has application for future small spacecraft launchers. The tests were conducted from April to June 2005 at the Civilian Flight Test Center, Mojave Spaceport. The engine employs an ablative chamber and nozzle, and was designed to produce 106,800 newtons force when operating in a vacuum with an extension nozzle. The extension was not installed for sea level tests. Testing demonstrated that the engine was stable, can be ignited quickly after shutdown and was ready to move into the next phase of development. Work on this engine was conducted in support of the DARPA/USAF FALCON program.

Application: Reaction control thruster.

Status: Developed 2005-.
Thrust: 106.80 kN (24,010 lbf).
First Launch: 2005-.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Air Launch American manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. Air Launch LLC, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/C3H8 Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. More...

Bibliography
  • Commercial Space Transportation 2006 - Commercial Space Transportation Developments and Concepts: Vehicles, Technologies and Spaceports, Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation, January 2006.

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