The most powerful liquid-propellant rocket engine in the world: RD-170. Designed by V. Glushko in 1976

Liquid-propellant rocket engine RD-170. Designed by V. Glushko in 1976. Its operating time – about two minutes. During this time it consumes 2393 kg of oxidizer and fuel per second: a 60-ton railway tanker passes through its turbopump in just 25 seconds.

The RD-170 (Russian: РД-170, Ракетный Двигатель-170, tr. Raketnyy Dvigatel-170) is the world’s most powerful and heaviest liquid-fuel rocket engine. It was designed and produced in the Soviet Union by NPO Energomash for use with the Energia launch vehicle. The engine burns kerosene fuel and LOX oxidizer in four combustion chambers, all supplied by one single-shaft, single-turbine turbopump rated at 170 MW (230,000 hp) in a staged combustion cycle.

Several Soviet and Russian rocket engines use the approach of clustering small combustion chambers around a single turbine and pump. During the early 1950s, many Soviet engine designers, including Valentin P. Glushko, faced problems of combustion instability while designing bigger thrust chambers. At that time, they solved the problem by using a cluster of smaller thrust chambers.

NPO Energomash “V. P. Glushko” is a major Russian rocket engine manufacturer. The company primarily develops and produces liquid propellant rocket engines. Energomash originates from the Soviet design bureau OKB-456, which was founded in 1946. NPO Energomash acquired its current name on May 15, 1991, in honor of its former chief designer Valentin Glushko.

Energomash is noted for its long history of large scale LOX/Kerosene engine development. Notable examples are the RD-107/RD-108 engines used on the R-7, Molniya and Soyuz rocket families, and the RD-170, RD-171 and RD-180 engines used on the Energia, Zenit and Atlas V launch vehicles.

As of July 2013, the company remained largely owned by the federal government of Russia, but RSC Energia owned approximately 14% of the total shares. As of 2009, NPO Energomash employed approximately 5500 workers at its headquarters in Khimki, Moscow and its satellite facilities in Samara, Perm, and St. Petersburg.

PAO S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (Russian: Ракетно-космическая корпорация «Энергия» им. С. П. Королёва, romanized: Raketno-kosmicheskaya korporatsiya “Energiya” im. S. P. Korolyova), also known as RSC Energia (РКК «Энергия», RKK “Energiya”), is a Russian manufacturer of spacecraft and space station components. The company is the prime developer and contractor of the Russian crewed spaceflight program; it also owns a majority of Sea Launch. Its name is derived from Sergei Korolev, the first chief of its design bureau, and the Russian word for energy.

Read more: History of engines with Martin Perez ...