Author Topic: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine  (Read 245292 times)

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #540 on: 02/28/2018 09:46 PM »
Significance of multiple runs on same engine is that they have a) many units under test (reproducability) and b) some idea of wear on engine - critical for an ORSC that is vulnerable to significant erosion down stream of the preburner.

They are about where the earlier schedules would have put them in the September/October time frame. Good progress.

add:
It is unlikely you'd attempt a high thrust test burn, before you have long duration burns.

Long duration burns allow you to gain insight on combustion stability and thermal dissipation, in addition to obviously greater engine wear it must endure to get the duration. You determine margins and can tell thermal runaway that might happen at high thrust levels, as well as determining the chamber pressures that the engine will be operating at to obtain them.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 01:36 AM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #541 on: 03/01/2018 12:01 AM »
The question is have they done full thrust burn, even its for few seconds.

Online AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #542 on: 03/01/2018 04:32 PM »
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust

Jim Centore, Blue Origin: making good progress on BE-4 engine testing. Getting to longer duration [but unspecified] burn times, and multiple runs on the same engine. Continuing testing for the next several months.

Significance of multiple runs on same engine is that they have a) many units under test (reproducability) and b) some idea of wear on engine - critical for an ORSC that is vulnerable to significant erosion down stream of the preburner.

They are about where the earlier schedules would have put them in the September/October time frame. Good progress.

add:
It is unlikely you'd attempt a high thrust test burn, before you have long duration burns.

Long duration burns allow you to gain insight on combustion stability and thermal dissipation, in addition to obviously greater engine wear it must endure to get the duration. You determine margins and can tell thermal runaway that might happen at high thrust levels, as well as determining the chamber pressures that the engine will be operating at to obtain them.

Not sure where the 'good progress' comes from other than the original quote.

Parsing Jim Centore's statement:
1. "Getting to longer duration..." is a double qualifier, "getting to" is current or near future status, while "longer duration" could mean three seconds to five, or ten, or even four.
2. "Multiple runs on same engine" could mean two or three, hopefully five or ten...
(one or more engines could only have one -- why?)
3. "Continuing testing for next several months"... certainly.  There is a tonne of testing and flight qualification ahead, maybe a year or two, but why mention several months?  Does something special happen in several months?  ...new prototype engine(s)? ...full power/duration/other tests? ...down select by ULA?

Remember that these engines are designed to be flown repeatedly on a reusable rocket, not just one and done on Vulcan.  They better not show any erosion or engine wear after a few short-duration, low power test runs.

Jim Centore might have been spreading a success story and "good progress", but his language is so guarded as to be questionable about how good is "good" progress.  Maybe also the guarded company culture at Blue...

Add:
They are at the one year mark from roll-out of full scale engine.

Ninja'd in updates thread:

@JeffBezos  15m15 minutes ago

 1st BE-4 engine fully assembled. 2nd and 3rd following close behind. #GradatimFerociter

@JeffBezos  11m11 minutes ago

 Here’s one more shot of BE-4 in its transport cradle.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 05:13 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #543 on: 03/01/2018 05:33 PM »
How about applying the same critical eye to SpaceX and not just anything not SpaceX

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #544 on: 03/01/2018 05:43 PM »
How about applying the same critical eye to SpaceX and not just anything not SpaceX
You are wasting you time Jim, SpaceX fans are one eyed.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #545 on: 03/01/2018 05:49 PM »


Everyone calm down and be civil. Thread title. Discuss topic. Carry on.

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #546 on: 03/01/2018 05:54 PM »
Foust is paraphrasing Centore, not quoting him, so a word by word analysis could be quite misleading.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #547 on: 03/01/2018 06:04 PM »
How about applying the same critical eye to SpaceX and not just anything not SpaceX
Absolutely. AncientU's post isn't fair, or based of understanding, or inquiring why.

(Note - my post above was meant to synopsize success. Meant to "buffer" ignorant criticism with some insight, in an area one cannot "teach" in posts. Perhaps I shouldn't, if it's going to be used as a means to attack by rhetorically picking from it to concoct a negative.)

SX took an expedient route (gas generator, combined ELV/RLV) with higher losses. BO takes a longer route (ORSC, RLV) attempting zero losses (two to date, high reuse on NS that SX hasn't ever had).

You may disagree with choices but they are reasonable, respectable ones.

Again, they have made good progress with BE-4, and I wish them well in hoping to hear more success in testing.

add:
It occurs to me that many here don't know why America avoided ORSC til now. The development rate is mostly dominated by "boom" and test stand rebuild. It is "good progress" when you don't get "boom" and "rebuild". This stuff is very hard, sometimes too hard.

The Russians did a lot of "boom" "rebuild", and many thought that was a bad idea. But it got a fantastic engine in RD-180. If you are going to attempt to outdo them, and you avoid "boom" and "rebuild" ... that's world class.

I have in the past chided them competitively given Raptor's FFSC success, but only because both teams (like all competitive teams) have an eye on the other - because competition is great for aerospace, not to run either down. And they can take it.

add:

And to put the shoe on the other foot, we've heard twice now on BE-4 testing, but nothing more on Raptor. Aren't we overdue on a SX report on how Raptor is doing? Unless it's sliding into "Musk time dilation"? By now they should have finished 1/3 scale Raptor tests, and be fabricating a full scale along with an test stand that can handle such. Hello? Where is it?
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 06:52 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline PahTo

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #548 on: 03/01/2018 06:20 PM »

(Note - my post above was meant to synopsize success. Meant to "buffer" ignorant criticism with some insight, in an area one cannot "teach" in posts. Perhaps I shouldn't, if it's going to be used as a means to attack by rhetorically picking from it to concoct a negative.)

Again, they have made good progress with BE-4, and I wish them well in hoping to hear more success in testing.


No, you should (please) continue to provide insight--posts like yours are exactly what and why many of us have been (wow, in my case for more than a decade) and continue to be on NSF.

Concur on the success-wishes, as testing leads to flight-ready production hardware.  Bring it on!

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #549 on: 03/01/2018 06:25 PM »
Quote
More than six years into development
BE-4 is already more than six years into development, fully funded, and will be flight qualified in 2018 – at least two years ahead of the alternative engine option. BE-4 component testing has already been underway for more than four years and full engine testing will begin soon.

Ready in 2019
BE-4 is the only engine that can fly by 2019, meeting the congressionally mandated deadline to eliminate dependence on Russian-built engines. The alternative engine option is multiple years behind and could not be integrated into a launch vehicle until at least 2021, extending our dependence on Russian engines well beyond 2019.
from the horse's mouth

I presume "in the next couple of months" refers to the expectation it will be flight qualified by the end of 2018. Which seems credible given the full scale version has already hot fired multiple times and the engines has been in development for over six years. There will be delays just like everything else, but probably on the order of months, not years.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Online AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #550 on: 03/01/2018 08:42 PM »
How about applying the same critical eye to SpaceX and not just anything not SpaceX
Absolutely. AncientU's post isn't fair, or based of understanding, or inquiring why.

(Note - my post above was meant to synopsize success. Meant to "buffer" ignorant criticism with some insight, in an area one cannot "teach" in posts. Perhaps I shouldn't, if it's going to be used as a means to attack by rhetorically picking from it to concoct a negative.)
...

I, for one, appreciate Space Ghost's posts and detailed analyses across all topics.  Your insight plus generous contribution of time to explain context is a huge asset of NSF.

On this particular topic and update from Jim Centore*, I was not hearing as positive a progress report on BE-4 as I was hoping for...  and searching for the downside of what was said.  Space Ghost took the quotes and stretched them on the upside, in my opinion, and I was probing the other possibility.  Critical eye?  Yes.  Bad-mouthing or slamming Blue -- 'a means to attack by rhetorically picking from it to concoct a negative' -- absolutely not my intention. 

For the record, I'm fully supportive of Blue Origin as a valuable contributor to competition in the reusable rocket development effort, BE-4 as a critical part of that, and for New Glenn and its success.  Full disclosure: I care much less about whether Vulcan gets an engine in a timely manner, but do think the BE-4 is the only viable path to ending RD-180 purchases from Russia anywhere near 2022.

For an American company to be making the ORSC engine that some claim impossible (textbooks, for instance) on their own dime is to be lauded.  For them to already have seven commercial orders for NG is fantastic.  None of this takes away from SpaceX -- it in fact helps to solidify the 'fantasy' that reusable rockets are the future.


* By the way, Jeff Foust is usually bang-on when he 'paraphrases' -- more like direct quotes than most in the media.
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Online AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #551 on: 03/01/2018 09:39 PM »
Quote
More than six years into development
BE-4 is already more than six years into development, fully funded, and will be flight qualified in 2018 – at least two years ahead of the alternative engine option. BE-4 component testing has already been underway for more than four years and full engine testing will begin soon.

Ready in 2019
BE-4 is the only engine that can fly by 2019, meeting the congressionally mandated deadline to eliminate dependence on Russian-built engines. The alternative engine option is multiple years behind and could not be integrated into a launch vehicle until at least 2021, extending our dependence on Russian engines well beyond 2019.
from the horse's mouth

I presume "in the next couple of months" refers to the expectation it will be flight qualified by the end of 2018. Which seems credible given the full scale version has already hot fired multiple times and the engines has been in development for over six years. There will be delays just like everything else, but probably on the order of months, not years.

This Blue Origin web page information appears over a year old; Jim Centore's comments were today's status.

The real question is when can this engine be flight qualified?  2018 was estimate as of over a year ago... is it still a viable target date?  We certainly did not get that confirmation from Mr. Centore's statement unless your interpretation of 'several months' is correct.  If he had news that they were a few months from a flight qualified engine, he'd have made a more substantial and positive statement.  As stated, it's more like they are still carefully searching the parameter space with their testing.

« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 09:40 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #552 on: 03/01/2018 10:03 PM »
The real question is when can this engine be flight qualified?  2018 was estimate as of over a year ago... is it still a viable target date?
Yes they can. It will be late. IMHO doubt 2020. Others will be late too, as before. So what.

It's not a "design flaw" issue here. It's a gradual proving by "mm, degrees, milliseconds, ..." issue. Then some refinements.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Just no "booms". Same is true for Raptor.

Online AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #553 on: 03/01/2018 10:27 PM »
The real question is when can this engine be flight qualified?  2018 was estimate as of over a year ago... is it still a viable target date?
Yes they can. It will be late. IMHO doubt 2020. Others will be late too, as before. So what.

It's not a "design flaw" issue here. It's a gradual proving by "mm, degrees, milliseconds, ..." issue. Then some refinements.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Just no "booms". Same is true for Raptor.

I do think the engine will be flight qualified, as will the eventual full scale Raptor, booms or no.  Don't think having a failure, or a few failures, on the test stand is something negative, other than the delay involved.  Having zero would be nice, but not necessary.  Just need to press on...
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Offline rpapo

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #554 on: 03/01/2018 11:30 PM »
The only useless boom is the one you don't learn from.
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #555 on: 03/01/2018 11:38 PM »
The only useless boom is the one you don't learn from.
Booms can destroy that which you need to learn from. Indiscriminate. Too easily.

Online AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #556 on: 03/01/2018 11:39 PM »
...

add:

And to put the shoe on the other foot, we've heard twice now on BE-4 testing, but nothing more on Raptor. Aren't we overdue on a SX report on how Raptor is doing? Unless it's sliding into "Musk time dilation"? By now they should have finished 1/3 scale Raptor tests, and be fabricating a full scale along with an test stand that can handle such. Hello? Where is it?

Not like you to low value post...

But, since you asked, I was wondering the same.

We saw first raptor burn at IAC2016.
Next we heard was at IAC 2017... 42 tests, 1,200s cumulative over the first year of testing.
We've also heard testing continues this year.

We may have to wait until IAC 2018 to get next quantitative status.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 11:40 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #557 on: 03/01/2018 11:52 PM »
Been told to post less frequent/depth, be more crisp and balanced with inconsistent rivals, limiting details. Hard.

Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #558 on: 03/02/2018 08:08 AM »
...

add:

And to put the shoe on the other foot, we've heard twice now on BE-4 testing, but nothing more on Raptor. Aren't we overdue on a SX report on how Raptor is doing? Unless it's sliding into "Musk time dilation"? By now they should have finished 1/3 scale Raptor tests, and be fabricating a full scale along with an test stand that can handle such. Hello? Where is it?

Not like you to low value post...

But, since you asked, I was wondering the same.

We saw first raptor burn at IAC2016.
Next we heard was at IAC 2017... 42 tests, 1,200s cumulative over the first year of testing.
We've also heard testing continues this year.

We may have to wait until IAC 2018 to get next quantitative status.

That would be correct. Both Raptor and BE-4 are new developments in the history of US-developed rocket engines. Informing their competitors, by issuing regular updates on testing, is the one thing SpaceX and Blue are not going to do.
However, the fact that SpaceX and Blue remain silent on their progress does not mean that there is no progress.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2018 12:12 PM by woods170 »

Offline SDSmith

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Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Reply #559 on: 03/02/2018 09:39 AM »
Been told to post less frequent/depth, be more crisp and balanced with inconsistent rivals, limiting details. Hard.
When I see a large post from Space Ghost I look forward to reading it. It forces me to slow down and digest what is written. Sometimes the longer post is easier to write than a short concise message.

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