Virgin Galactic finally admitted to its engine troubles on Friday.


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Virgin Galactic finally admitted to its engine troubles on Friday.

They have dumped the original engine, switching to a different engine design that the rumors have said they have been testing for the past year.

The company press release is here, with commentary here.

Though it is a good thing that the company has finally come clean and made the switch, they probably waited far too long to do it, as the problems with the old engine likely caused several years delay in their schedule, allowing other companies to catch up with them and thus losing the significant technological advantage that they once held.

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4 comments

  • Sayomara

    The first step is admitting there is a problem

  • Pzatchok

    The whole of the engine design is flawed. Just changing the solid fuel will not help much. It will never correct the real problem.

    Adding He to the mix is not a solution either. Just a patch job.

    By adding the oxidizer to the top of the engine away from the nozzle you create a situation in which the burn chamber is ever changing and changing in unpredictable ways.

    I bet they added a few knock sensors to the side of the engine and tried adding He as needed to keep the vibrations down. Sort of like they add less or more fuel and change the ignition timing to keep knocks out of internal combustion car engines. It works but only to a point. While stopping knocks it lowers engine power.

    Since VG has recently stated they will not be able to reach space even with the new engines I bet they found that out.

  • Kelly Starks

    This could impact Dream Chaser as well. The company that makes it also makes the SS2 engines – and uses the same kind of engines on the DC. ….with issues they don’t like to admit to.

  • Kelly Starks

    Well really, hybrids are a dump system. You kinda mix the problems with solids, liquids, and pressurized feed systems, with out really getting the best of any of them.

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