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Vinci (rocket engine)

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Title: Vinci (rocket engine)  
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Subject: Ariane 6, Viking (rocket engine), Vinci, Snecma Silvercrest, Cryogenic rocket engine
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Vinci (rocket engine)

Country of origin France
Designer Snecma
Manufacturer Snecma
Application Upper stage booster
Predecessor HM-7B
Status Under Development
Liquid-fuel engine
Propellant LOX / LH2
Cycle Expander cycle
Chamber 1
Thrust (vac.) 180 kN
Chamber pressure 60.8 bar (6.08 MPa)
Isp (vac.) 465 seconds (4.56 km/s)
Dry weight

approx. 550 kg

without nozzle: 160 kg

Vinci is a European Space Agency cryogenic rocket engine currently under development. It is designed to power the new upper stage of Ariane 5, ESC-B, and will be the first European re-ignitable cryogenic upper stage engine, raising the launcher's GTO performances to 12 t.


Vinci is an expander cycle rocket engine fed with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Its biggest improvement from its predecessor, the HM-7B (which powers the ESC-A), is the capability of restarting up to five times. It is also the first European expander cycle engine, removing the need for a gas generator to drive the fuel and oxidizer pumps. The engine features a carbon ceramic extendable nozzle in order to have a large, 2.15 m diameter nozzle extension with minimum length: the retracted nozzle part is deployed only after the upper stage separates from the rest of the rocket; after extension, the engine's overall length increases from 2.3 m to 4.2 m.


Although the ESC-B development was put on hold in 2003, the Vinci project has not been cancelled: at a lower pace, the engine is still being developed. On 22 December 2006, Snecma announced a new ESA contract for Vinci rocket engine long-duration and re-ignition testing. In late April 2010 the German Aerospace Center DLR announced the start of a six month test campaign for the Vinci engine at its Lampoldshausen facility.[1] The first successful test firing of this campaign took place on 27 May 2010. The first flight test of the Vinci engine is not expected until 2016 or 2017.[2]

See also

Comparable engines

References and notes

  • "Launch Vehicle Propulsion – Vinci". EADS SPACE Transportation. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  • "VINCI Thrust Chamber Cryogenic Upper Stage" (PDF). EADS SPACE Transportation. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  • Decourt, Rémy (2005-05-24). "Ariane 5: EADS veut geler le développement de la version 12 tonnes" (in French). Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  • "Snecma announces new ESA contract for Vinci rocket engine". 2006-12-22. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  1. ^ "Vinci – tests on the high-thrust, cryogenic, restartable upper stage engine for Ariane 5 gather pace". 
  2. ^ "First test of Vinci M3 engine a success!". 

External links

  • ESA news 2005-05-20: Vinci engine hot-firing test a success
  • ESA news 2005-06-14: Testing the new Vinci engine
  • ESA news 2005-07-29: Thumbs up for 60-second firing
  • ESA news 2005-11-07: Second Vinci engine ready for testing
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