On 9th September 2021, HyEnD has successfully tested its HyLIGHT 10kN rocket engine for the first time. In contrast to the planned flight version of the HyLIGHT engine, the prototype engine tested features an aluminum casing. This allows a modular engine design and a reuse of insulation components in multiple test configurations. The first test was conducted with an impingement injector and film cooling ablator in the post combustion chamber. The burn time of the engine was restricted to five seconds, as the goal of the test was to prove that all required systems are working correctly and reliably.
The current test campaign will assess the effectiveness of film cooling and the influence of various design changes to the combustion efficiency. The regression rate will be evaluated and optimized as well. Since September, various prototypes of the engine have reached a culminated operation time of more than 37 seconds. In the following weeks and months, the design of the fuel grain, injector and insulation components will be finalized, and the burn time increased to up to 25 seconds. First tests with an engine with CFRP casing are planned for early 2022.