Encyclopedia Astronautica

Curtiss-Wright Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. 66.880 kN. Out of Production. First flight 1954. Two chamber engine built for X-2 rocketplane. Engine could be throttled continuously from 1140 kgf to 6820 kgf.

Upper chamber was 2270 kgf and lower chamber 4540 kgf. Duration 175 seconds at full power or 650 seconds at 1140 kgf. Bell was to have provided the engine, but their contract was cancelled due to cost/technical problems. The X-2 engine was developed by a rocket team that had been founded by Goddard at the Naval Engineering Experiment Station at Annapolis, Maryland. During 1942-1945 the team had developed a variable-thrust rocket motors. This required hundreds of proving-stand tests, but eventually producing a successful motor, later used on the Bell X-2 rocket plane.

Application: Manned rocketplanes.


Chambers: 2. Throttled thrust(vac): 1,140.000 kN (256,280 lbf). Engine: 157 kg (346 lb). Thrust to Weight Ratio: 43.43.

Status: Out of Production.
Height: 1.45 m (4.75 ft).
Diameter: 0.46 m (1.50 ft).
Thrust: 66.88 kN (15,035 lbf).

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • X-2 American manned rocketplane. Design began 1945. X-2 was an AAF/ Bell project that flew three supersonic flight research aircraft, powered by liquid rockets. Originally designated XS-2. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Alcohol Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

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