Space Propulsion

    Avio’s leadership in solid and liquid propulsion is highlighted by our participation in the Ariane 5 and Vega projects.

    Avio produces the Ariane 5’s boosters: two large lateral solid?propellant engines which produce most of the thrust required for take?off. They are 26.5m high and burn 237 tonnes of fuel each in 130 seconds.

    Each booster is made up of three metal parts. The first part is loaded with approximately 30 tonnes of solid fuel at Avio’s Colleferro plant (Rome). The second and third parts are loaded at the Kourou base in French Guyana, where the whole booster is then built into the launcher. Avio also produces the turbopump, which is one of the most critical components for Vulcain( 1 and 2), the first?stage cryogenic engine that feeds liquid oxygen into the combustion chamber.

    For the Vega launcher, Avio manufactures the three solid propellant motors P80, Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9, using innovative high-tech processes to attain the best possible performance. Among their main features, the carbon fibre engine structures for weight reduction produced with specialist equipment stand out - many of which are designed by Avio. In addition, Avio produces the internal thermal protection made of a low-density elatomeric-based material, while Avio also produces the launcher’s electrical systems.