Country of Origin: Germany
Approximate: 3 ft. 7 in. diameter x 6 ft. 3 in. tall, 1000 lb. (109.22 x 190.5cm, 453.6kg)
With a nominal thrust of 25 metric tons (56,000 lb.), the German V-2 motor was the world's first large liquid-fuel rocket engine. It powered the V-2 ballistic missile launched against Britain and Belgium in 1944-45. A team led by Dr. Walter Thiel designed and tested this engine between 1937 and 1941. Both the motor and the missile were influential on the postwar development of rocket technology in the United States and the Soviet Union.
The combustion chamber was the engine's heart, as it was here that the propellants-liquid oxygen and water alcohol-came together and burned at a temperature of about 2700 C (4900 F). Eighteen injectors on top sprayed the propellants into the chamber. The U.S. Army probably captured this artifact at Mittelwerk factory north central Germany in spring 1945, but it eventually came to the Smithsonian as a transfer from the U.S. Air Force.
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force