Turbopump, Steam Generator and Frame, V-2 Rocket Engine

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    Turbopump, Steam Generator and Frame, V-2 Rocket Engine

    Steel frame with circular hoops at the ends, black hydrogen peroxide tank, tubing and equipment for operation of the turbopump and pumping of liquid oxygen and alcohol propellants. Missing 1 lox connection, fuel cooling lines, compressed-air battery, steam exhaust; some American parts; some missing parts.

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This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

The turbopump and steam generator assembly of the V-2 engine drew the propellants--liquid oxygen and 75% alcohol--from the missile's tanks and injected them under pressure into the combustion chamber. At a thrust of 25 metric tons (about 56,000 lb), the V-2 was the world's first large liquid-propellant rocket engine, and as such was of groundbreaking historical importance. It was also the first large turbo-pumped liquid-fuel rocket engine, following on earlier German experiments.

The turbopump had to move approx. 9700 kg (21,400 lb.) of liquid oxygen from the tanks to the engine during the sixty-second burning time. Driving the turbopump was the steam generator, which used hydrogen peroxide (codenamed T-Stoff) mixed with Z-Stoff, a catalyst consisting of a 27% solution of sodium permanganate. Those liquids were forced into a mixing chamber by compressed air. This Smithsonian artifact was a gift of the U.S. Air Force Museum in 1959.