HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force demonstrates rocket engine preburner for advanced liquid rocket engines

The Air Force Research Laboratory has successfully tested a state-of-the-art rocket engine preburner to elevate the U.S. technology base for high performance oxygen-rich staged combustion. The preburner was designed, developed, and tested under the AFRL Hydrocarbon Boost program with prime contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, and supported by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Testing was conducted at NASA Stennis Space Center facilities. (Courtesy photo)

The Air Force Research Laboratory successfully tested a state-of-the-art rocket engine preburner to elevate the U.S. technology base for high performance oxygen-rich staged combustion. The preburner was designed, developed and tested under the AFRL Hydrocarbon Boost program with prime contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne and supported by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Testing was conducted at NASA Stennis Space Center facilities. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) --

The Air Force Research Laboratory has successfully tested a state-of-the-art rocket engine preburner to elevate the U.S. technology base for high-performance oxygen-rich staged combustion.

The preburner was designed, developed and tested under the AFRL Hydrocarbon Boost program with prime contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne and supported by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Testing was conducted at NASA Stennis Space Center facilities.

The HCB preburner success was a culmination of two decades of AFRL research into oxygen-rich staged combustion to advance the high performance, robust and reusable domestic rocket engine technologies.

The preburner harnesses energy to power other engine systems and is subject to extreme oxygen environments that conventional metals cannot survive. The HCB preburner is the highest pressure rocket combustor ever tested in the U.S.

“The HCB preburner pushed the boundaries of these extreme conditions and redefined state-of-the-art for these challenging systems,” said Dr. Shawn Phillips, AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate chief of rocket propulsion.

AFRL used advanced technologies, such as super-nickel alloys for high-strength and burn resistance. Leveraging lessons from the HCB sub-scale preburner test campaign was key to achieving this successful test.

The HCB test article was highly instrumented to understand the technology trade space, rather than the development of a point design for operational use. This approach allowed AFRL researchers to study fundamental technical issues hindering engine development efforts today, such as combustion stability and thermal management.

Air Force ownership of the HCB preburner design, hardware and test data enables this foundational knowledge base to be directly applied to new engine design tools, academic research and transitioned across U.S. industry for future engine development efforts or block upgrades.

AFRL’s Rocket Propulsion Division at Edwards Air Force Base, California, has played a key role in advancing rocket engine technologies for the nation, since 1952. Nearly every liquid rocket engine developed in the U.S. traces its roots to these AFRL technologies and experimental demonstrations.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…
RT @AFWERX: Did you catch @EdwardsAFB’s first-ever @TEDx event? There’s no doubt their theme, “Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Innovat…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to get motivated by watching this video of exercise #MobilityGuardian19, Air Mobility Command's largest full-sp…
.@SecAFOfficial Barbara Barrett recently testified to the #SenateArmedServicesCommittee on privatized #military hou… https://t.co/XktLL4cXBB
RT @US_Stratcom: Whether it’s a defender, missile alert facility manager or a missileer, everyone is vital to the intercontinental ballisti…
RT @AFResearchLab: The @AF_SBIR_STTR team alongside the Wright Brothers Institute hosted the first @usairforce Technology Executive Office…
RT @USAFHealth: There is still time to enroll or make changes to your TRICARE plan. Due to a technical issue, the TRICARE Beneficiary Web E…
RT @USAFCENT: GLOBAL REACH | USAF KC-135 refuels F-15Es and F-16s over Northern Iraq. By providing aerial refueling for the USAF, the KC-13…