Ex­te­ri­or of the P4.1 test rig

Ex­te­ri­or of the P4.1 test rig
Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).

Exterior of the P4.1 test rig

The new Vin­ci up­per stage en­gine is be­ing test­ed in test rig P4.1 at the DLR site in Lam­pold­shausen as part of the Ar­i­ane 6 pro­gramme. This cam­paign is an im­por­tant mile­stone for the de­vel­op­ment of fu­ture Eu­ro­pean launch­ers; their flex­i­bil­i­ty will be great­ly en­hanced with the re-ig­nitable en­gine. DLR con­duct­ed hot run­ning tests on Vin­ci un­der space con­di­tions us­ing self-de­vel­oped steam gen­er­a­tors. Dur­ing this test, the en­gine was ig­nit­ed three times and can burn for up to 820 sec­onds dur­ing an ex­per­i­ment in a vac­u­um at less than six mil­libars. A max­i­mum of five ig­ni­tions are pos­si­ble. The test cam­paign be­gan on 4 May, 2016 and will last un­til Septem­ber 2016. The first launch of an Ar­i­ane 6 is planned for 2020.

The new Vinci upper stage engine is being tested in test rig P4.1 at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen as part of the Ariane 6 programme. This campaign is an important milestone for the development of future European launchers; their flexibility will be greatly enhanced with the re-ignitable engine. DLR conducted hot running tests on Vinci under space conditions using self-developed steam generators. During this test, the engine was ignited three times and can burn for up to 820 seconds during an experiment in a vacuum at less than six millibars. A maximum of five ignitions are possible. The test campaign began on 4 May, 2016 and will last until September 2016. The first launch of an Ariane 6 is planned for 2020.

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