TsAGI centenary in the history of aviation: the heavy-lift Anraga A5 launch vehicle
24 December 2018
The flight test of the newest heavy-lift Angara A5 launch vehicle was successfully conducted in December 23, 2014. It was the first heavy carrier rocket developed in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Angara-A5 set into orbit a 2 tonne mockup of the satellite by the Breeze M upper stage.
The successful launch was the final chord of a multi-year collaboration of a number of Russian aerospace companies. The primary designer and manufacturer is the state-run Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center. The Zhukovsky Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) became one of the active participants of the project.
TsAGI scientists specified the flow effect and heat-transfer effect on the surface of the carrier rocket on the ascent trajectory at a hypersonic flight regime. In addition, there were identified areas and structural elements exposed to high thermal loads. The Angara-A5 model tests were held in TsAGI large hypersonic wind tunnel and shock wind tunnel. The analysis of the results showed that the number of elements, which were located in the zone of high aerodynamic interference of the booster pods, were subjected to a dangerous level of a heat load and required thermal protection. The experts of the leading centre of Aeronautical Science developed recommendations to protect the vehicle from such loads.
The Angara-A5 manufacturer made necessary changes in its design following the results of the TsAGI pilot studies. They corrected the thermal protecting coating scheme and its thickness, built in new fairings to protect the separation system of side-boosters, as well as optimized the flight path parameters.
The second flight of the Angara A5 is currently being prepared now.