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Copenhagen Suborbitals Retires TM65 engine following test

Copenhagen Suborbitals had another test of their flagship TM65 engine on December 30th – but not everything went to plan.

While proving a spectacular sight to the crowd that had gathered on the edge of the test site (Copenhagen Suborbitals advertise their tests well in advance so you can go along – it almost makes me want to move to Denmark!), not everything went according to plan.

Following their earlier test back in May, the Copehagen Suborbitals team decided to increase the fuel tank pressure in an effort to raise performance. As far as I can tell, the TM65 engine uses a cooling skirt around the inside of the exhaust bell that is normally filled with fuel and absorbs heat before it is pumped into the combustion chamber. The temperature of the skirt apparently rose too high to retain integrity under the new increased pressure and blew out, causing a massive fuel leak and cutting off the fuel supply to the combustion chamber, effectively ending the test. You can see the deformed skirt inside the exhaust bell in the image above.

While a disappointing result, I’m sure that the good folks at Copenhagen Suborbitals like the ever-resourceful Kristian Von Bengtson got a lot of very useful data from the test that can be incorporated into the TM65 engine’s successor which is now in development.

There is a bunch of test footage that C-S have put up on Youtube. Personally I think that they put other organisations to shame when it comes to showing off this kind of badass footage.

Video of the entire test


The “meat” of the test – firing and aftermath


Slow motion (200 frames per second) footage of the test


Photo Credit : Copenhagen Suborbitals (KVBengtson?)

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About The Author
My name's Chris Pounds. I started Astronomy Aggregator in 2012 as a hobby site for my interests in spaceflight and astronomy. I'm finishing up an MSc. in Aerospace Engineering. My undergraduate degree was in Mechanical Engineering with a final year dissertation focussed on performance characteristics of aerospike rocket nozzles.

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