Encyclopedia Astronautica

XCOR Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. 1.780 kN. First stages. Fully operational pressure-fed, regeneratively cooled engine. Flown on the EZ-Rocket, a modified Long-EZ aircraft fitted with two engines. First flight 2001.

The XR4A3 was a fully operational 1,780-newton, pressure-fed, regeneratively cooled, liquid oxygen and alcohol engine. Four such engines were built and, combined, had been run 558 times for over 6,434 seconds. These engines also were flown on the EZ-Rocket, a modified Long-EZ aircraft fitted with two of the engines. The EZ-Rocket completed 15 successful flight tests since July 2001, including two flights at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture 2002 air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July 2002.

Application: First stages.

Status: Hardware.
Thrust: 1.78 kN (400 lbf).
First Launch: 2000-2004.

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Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Alcohol 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. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

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