Encyclopedia Astronautica

Curtiss-Wright Lox/Gasoline rocket engine. RATO rocket for XB-45. Launch thrust 17.6 kN. Assisted take-off power. Single thrust chamber, both regeneratively cooled and film-cooled with water, spark plug ignition, turbine-pump fed.

Dropped by parachute. Similar in performance to Aerojet AJ-13.

Application: RATO rocket for XB-45.


Thrust (sl): 17.600 kN (3,957 lbf). Thrust (sl): 1,800 kgf. Engine: 268 kg (590 lb). Chamber Pressure: 20.00 bar. Propellant Formulation: Lox/Low octane gasoline+coolant water.

AKA: XLR17-CW-1.
Unfuelled mass: 268 kg (590 lb).
Height: 3.35 m (10.99 ft).
Diameter: 0.81 m (2.65 ft).
Thrust: 17.60 kN (3,957 lbf).
Burn time: 60 s.

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Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Gasoline 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. Gasoline of various grades were used as fuel in the earliest rocket engines of Goddard and others. Once appropriate blends of kerosene were developed in the United States and Soviet Union, that became the hydrocarbon fuel of choice. More...

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