Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed the first hot-fire test on the sub-scale oxygen rich pre-burner as part of the US Air Force hydrocarbon boost technology demonstrator (HBTD) programme.
The oxygen-rich pre-burner is one of the enabling technologies of the oxygen-rich staged combustion (ORSC) cycle required to deliver high thrust-to-weight and performance.
The sub-scale test series will be aimed to support the design and development of the full-scale pre-burner and engine development.
Aerojet Rocketdyne Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator Program programme manager Joe Burnett said: "Throughout the sub-scale fabrication and facility checkouts, we’ve documented a number of lessons learned that have directly influenced the full-scale pre-burner design.
"We are looking forward to what more we will learn during the hot-fire test series."
As part of this test series, multiple injector configurations will be soon trialled to assess the performance and stability parameters.
Aerojet, under programme direction of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), is responsible for designing, developing and testing the HBTD engine.
The engine is developed to generate 250,000lb of thrust. It uses liquid oxygen and liquid kerosene (RP-2) in the first US developed demonstration of the ORSC cycle.
It is as a re-usable engine system and features high-performance long-life technologies, as well as modern components and will able to power up to 100 flights.
Earlier, Aerojet designed and delivered the oxygen-rich and fuel-rich pre-burners for the USAF’s integrated powerhead device (IPD) demonstration engine.