Engine Demonstrator for Reusable Launch Vehicle Tested for Takeoff and Landing


16 low thrust engines were launched during the test

Demonstration launches of the key project of the UIREC “Research, development and creation of technology demonstrators for a single-stage reusable vertical takeoff and landing launch vehicle” implemented by SUSU scientists together with the Makeev State Research Center and NIIMash took place at the test site of Aerocosmos ZAO (Novy Kremenkul village, Chelyabinsk region). The motion of the engine with a cooled central body in space was demonstrated on a special stand.

A unique design of Russia’s first full-size stand for demonstrating controlled spatial motion of a propulsion system with a central body was created specifically for the tests.

“In 2021, at the site provided by our partner NIIMash in Nizhnyaya Salda, we launched a demonstrator of a propulsion system with a cooled central body using alcohol-oxygen fuel. In 2022, a functioning demonstrator using oxygen-hydrogen fuel was successfully tested. It was decided to use the alcohol-oxygen demonstrator to test the controlled spatial motion of the propulsion system with a central body,” says Nikita Schastlivy, Director of the “Aerospace Technologies” Research and Educational Center.

During the test, 16 low thrust engines were launched, which are radially arranged around the central body. The launches allowed for continuous operation to demonstrate vertical takeoff and landing.

At the next stage, SUSU researchers will present the operation of the software for the multi-engine control system demonstrator, as well as the operation of the integrated inertial navigation system with correction from the vision system, laser rangefinder, radio navigation and satellite navigation systems. The project of the Ural Interregional Research and Educational Center (UIREC) is implemented by the “Aerospace Technologies” Research and Educational Center of SUSU at the request of the SUSU Advanced Research Foundation with the financial support of the Chelyabinsk Region Government in the development of advanced engineering competencies.