Snecma Completes Vinci Engine Ground Test Fire
[Satellite Today 11-15-10] Prime contractor Snecma tested the Vinci rocket engine Nov. 11 representing an actual flight, the company announced
The engine, which will power the new upper stage of the Ariane 5 launcher starting in 2016, was tested on the P4.1 test rig at the German aerospace center DLR’s facility in Lampoldshausen. Since the beginning of the test campaign in April, this Vinci engine, the third developmental model, has logged a total of 4,255 seconds of operation — more than six times its nominal operating time on a single mission. The fourth engine is in final assembly, with a new series of tests scheduled to start in early 2011.
The Vinci cryogenic engine is being developed by Snecma under the European Space Agency’s A5ME (Midlife Evolution) program, for which Astrium ST is the prime contractor. The engine is intended to increase the Ariane 5’s payload capacity by 20 percent and can be restarted in flight, giving the launcher greater operational flexibility.