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The Core Engine of Ariane 6 completed qualification tests

on 09 October 2019

Ariane 6, Europe's next-generation launch vehicle, has passed another key development milestone. Its Vulcain 2.1 liquid-fuelled engine has now completed its qualification testing, which means combined tests can now begin.

A review in late September 2019 marked the culmination of two Vulcain static firing test campaigns over 15 months on two demonstration models in test facilities at the DLR German Aerospace Center test facility in Lampoldshausen.

The final qualification static firing test of Vulcain 2.1 in July lasted almost 11 minutes (655 seconds). This completed a total of 13,798 seconds of operation, or nearly four hours with a controlled engine, using Ariane 6 flight actuators to gimbal the engine.

The engine will be refurbished for dynamic and vibration tests. Combined tests using a fully representative main stage at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, will finally qualify the Ariane 6 core stage for flight.

Completion of the Vulcain 2.1 and Vinci qualification tests represent a major step forward in the Ariane 6 development.

The next step for large propulsion systems is the static firing in French Guiana of the final qualification model of Ariane 6’s P120C solid fuel booster. This test will define the acceleration profile for the launcher and will consequently allow engineers to pursue the preparation of the upcoming flights.

Image credit: ArianeGroup