Vulcain 2 Turbopomp -
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Vulcain 2 Turbopomp


Turbopumps are one of the main components in liquid propellant engines for aerospace use. These machines offer extreme performance, as they are designed to feed the combustion chamber with propellants drawn from tanks that are pressurised to hundreds of bars.
They have enormous power density (such as 6500 HP in a mass of 250 Kg), are exposed to extreme environments (at temperatures ranging from cryogenic to over 1000°C), highly aggressive liquids such as liquid oxygen, and astounding speeds of rotation.
Because of Avio’s lengthy history and broad experience in the design and construction of turbo-machines, the European Space Agency (ESA) entrusted the company with the task of developing the cryogenic, liquid oxygen turbopump (LOX TP) for the Vulcain 1 engine in 1985. The engine completed 24 perfect missions on Ariane 5 before being replaced by a new version, the Vulcain 2. Using this design as a starting point, Avio developed all the LOX turbopumps used in European cryogenic engines, as well as the liquid methane turbo-machine for the Mira-D engine. Avio uses multiple facilities and dedicated test benches for the development of its LOX turbopumps.


The Vulcain 1 liquid oxygen turbopump offers a flow rate of approx. 200 Kg/sec. Avio developed and tested numerous key technologies for the unit: the axial stage, the bearings, the Dynamic Seal Package (DSP) which acts as the physical separation between the hot gasses that feed the turbine (+600°C) and the liquid oxygen on the pump side (-180°C), and the Active Balancing System (ABS), which compensates for the axial forces generated by the turbine. The components of the turbine stator and the rotating blades were developed and built by GKN Aerospace, a company specialising in turbomachinery and exhaust nozzles.


Main charateristic:

  • Inlet pressure: 3 bar
  • Inlet temperature: 91 K
  • Flow rate: 208 kg/s
  • Outlet pressure: 133 bar
  • Rotor speed: 13.000 rpm
  • Power: 5 MW
  • Weight: 250 kg


  • Length: 700 mm
  • Diameter: 500 mm


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