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V-2 Rocket Engine Combustion Chamber cutaway


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Rockets and Missiles exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

With a thrust of 25 metric tons (56,000 lb), the V-2 motor was the world's first large, liquid-fuel rocket engine and powered the first ballistic missile, the German V-2 of World War II. The combustion chamber was the engine's heart and burned the propellants, water alcohol and liquid oxygen, at about 2,700 ºC (4,900 ºF). Water alcohol was injected through six pipes near the bottom of the chamber, moved up between the walls in order to cool the chamber, emerging through the sides of the 18 injectors on top. Small pipes also injected alcohol into the chamber through rings of tiny holes in order to provide a insulating film of fuel along the walls. Liquid oxygen was injected directly into the top of the injector heads. A pyrotechnic igniter started combustion, after which burning was self-sustaining.

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center gave this artifact to the Smithsonian in 1975.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration




Overall: 6 ft. 5 in. tall x 3 ft. 9 in. wide (195.58 x 114.3cm); diameter, each injector, 21 in.; diameter, outside, nozzle, 29 in.

Country of Origin



PROPULSION-Rocket Engines

Inventory Number


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