High Pressure Combustion Chamber Test Rig 3 (HBK 3)

Originally used to test components of the hydrogen-powered engine of the “European Space Shuttle” during the Sänger-II-Projekt  which started in the late 1980ies, the test cell was remodeled and converted in to the combustor test bed HBK3 after the project was cancelled in 1995. From the beginning, the testing was focused on aero engine combustors. In 2011 the test bed was connected to the natural gas supply to increase the testing capabilities. Today, the HBK3 is used as our middle class test bed to provide an economic testing environment for single sector aero engine combustors and smaller heavy duty systems.  The test setup is provided with all necessary media. A state of the art Emission measurement system for all relevant species and also Temperature and pressure measurement systems are available.


Technical specification 

Maximum thermal load   6 MW 
Air supply  
  mass flow up to 7  kg/s
pressure up to 40 bar
  up to 700°C
Fuel supply  
  • Liquid fuels (Kerosene, fuel oil, special fuel) 
  • Natural Gas (L-Gas and H-Gas)
  • Preheating possible
Cooling water supply  
  • pressure vessel
  • hot gas parts
  • emission probes 

To simulate the engine’s compressor, pressurized air is supplied from a large high pressure reservoir. The air is preheated using either the NG powered air preheater or the very efficient electrical preheater (for lower mass flows) located directly in the test cell and then supplied to the test setup. The required fuel is introduced into the combustor and the exhaust mass flow is released to the stack. To simulate the pressure drop of the engines turbine, a hydraulic backpressure valve (exclusively developed for DLR) is used.

Kerosene, Fuel oil or natural gas can be provided as standard fuels.  A facility to store and supply special liquid fuels is also available.

The test setup is supplied with cooling water for the pressure casing, the hot gas parts and the emission probes.





David Abbassian
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Propulsion Technology
, Combustor Test
Tel: +49 2203 601-2074

E-Mail: David.Abbassian@dlr.de
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