The first hot firing of Ariane 6’s Vulcain 2.1 main engine has been performed at the DLR German Aerospace Center test facility in Lampoldshausen, Germany.
Further tests will examine the ignition conditions, and the behaviour and performance of the engine and its different subsystems.
The engine, developed by ArianeGroup, has a simplified and more robust nozzle, a gas generator made through additive manufacturing, and an oxygen heater for oxygen tank pressurisation. These features lower the cost of the engine and simplify manufacturing.
During this year, three Vulcain test campaigns in Germany and France will help engineers to decide whether adjustments are needed to optimise the functional, thermal and mechanical behaviour, before the start of combined tests.
In parallel, more than 130 test firings on the Vinci engine powering Ariane 6’s upper stage have been carried out. These tests, in particular, have verified Vinci’s multiple ignition capabilities. Tests have used the P41 stand at DLR in Lampoldshausen and the PF52 stand at the ArianeGroup site in Vernon, France.