The XCOR XR-5K18 rocket engine will be used to power XCOR's Lynx suborbital launch vehicle to the edge of space.
This engine produces between 2500-2900 lbf thrust by burning a mixture of liquid oxygen and kerosene. The test program for the first iteration of this engine began on December 15th, 2008 at XCOR’s rocket test facility located at the Mojave Air and Space Port.
The 5K18 has design and performance characteristics similar to a previous XCOR engine, the 4K14, which has a full test and flight history as the X-Racer engine. This makes it an ideal model on which to base the Lynx engine. The primary differences in design are:
5K18’s chamber pressure and thrust are approximately two times that of the 4K14
5K18 has a nozzle extension to optimize specific impulse and thrust at higher altitudes
Both engine chambers are regeneratively cooled by kerosene, but the 5K18 has additional coolant loops for the nozzle extension.
Like all of XCOR's engines, it has demonstrated the ability to stop then restart safely and reliably on XCOR’s proprietary spark torch ignition system. It's regenerative cooling system allows it to run for indefinite periods without maintenance and dissasembly.
XCOR 5K18 Photo Gallery