20 May 2014
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, said it has received a contract from Stratolaunch Systems Corp. to provide six RL10C-1 production engines, with an option to provide an additional six RL10C-1 production engines at a later date, for the third stage of a revolutionary commercial air-launch system.
The inaugural launch of Thunderbolt, the air-launch vehicle designed and developed for SSC, is scheduled for 2018.
The design concept for The Eagles Launch System involves the launch of an unmanned rocket dubbed Thunderbolt, carrying a commercial or government payload from beneath the fuselage of a giant carrier aircraft. According to the concept, the carrier aircraft will be powered by six Boeing 747 class jet engines and have a wingspan greater than the length of a football field. Upon reaching a prescribed altitude, the rocket will be dropped from the aircraft, at which point two stages of solid rocket boosters will fire and propel the rocket skyward. Once the solid rocket boosters are expended, two Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engines will ignite to ultimately place the satellite into proper orbit.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. The companies´ websites are at www.Rocket.com and www.GenCorp.com.