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?)