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Successful first test for Ariane 6 engine
Vulcain 2.1 engine. © ArianeGroup

Successful first test for Ariane 6 engine

The Vulcain 2.1 engine for the main stage of the future Ariane 6 launcher has been successfully tested by the DLR (German Aerospace Center).

The Vulcain 2.1 engine developed by ArianeGroup to power the main stage of the future Ariane 6 launcher has been successfully tested by the DLR (German Aerospace Center) on the P5 test facility at its site in Lampoldshausen, Germany on behalf of ArianeGroup.

The Vulcain 2.1 is a version of the Ariane 5 Vulcain 2 engine especially adapted for the Ariane 6 main stage, to simplify production and to lower costs. To achieve these objectives, the engine integrates technologies such as a gas generator built using additive manufacturing, a simplified divergent nozzle, and an oxygen heater for tank pressurisation.

These adaptations are designed to achieve the cost targets set for the Ariane 6 launcher, while retaining the efficiency and reliability demonstrated on Ariane 5.

The tests carried out at Lampoldshausen will allow the new engine to be tested throughout its flight envelope (thrust, mixing ratio, propellant supply conditions).

Meanwhile, the Ariane 6 upper stage Vinci engine qualification programme is continuing on schedule, with more than 130 test firings performed on the two test beds in France and Germany — the P4.1 facility at the DLR's Lampoldshausen site and the PF52 at the ArianeGroup test site in Vernon, France. Tests have included several demonstrations of the multiple ignition capability required by Ariane customers for their missions on Ariane 6.

Ariane 6 is scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2020.

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