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Country of origin China
Designer Academy of Aerospace Liquid Propulsion Technology
Application sustainer engine
Associated L/V Long March 5
Predecessor YF-75
Status In development
Liquid-fuel engine
Propellant Liquid oxygen / Liquid hydrogen
Mixture ratio 5.5 to 5.45 (adjustable)
Cycle Gas-generator
Chamber 1
Nozzle ratio 49
Thrust (vac.) 700 kN (160,000 lbf)
Thrust (SL) 510 kN (110,000 lbf)
Chamber pressure 10.2 MPa (1,480 psi)
Isp (vac.) 430 seconds (4.2 km/s)
Isp (SL) 310.2 seconds (3.042 km/s)
Burn time 520 seconds (8.7 min)
Length 4,200 mm (170 in)
Dry weight 2,700 kg (6,000 lb)
Used in
Long March 5 core stage.
References [1][2][3]

The YF-77 is China's first cryogenic rocket engine developed for booster applications. It burns liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer in the gas generator cycle. A pair of these engines will power the LM-5 core stage in a module that includes the mount that enables each individual engine to gimbal in two planes.[2][4] While it will be lighten at lift of, its function will be that of a sustainer engine, like the European Vulcain on the Ariane 5 and the Japanese LE-7 on the H-II, since the core stage thrust will be supplemented by the YF-100 powered boosters. Like the Vulcain, it uses the less efficient gas generator cycle and even for that application it has less performance than the European engine. It does advances significantly the thrust level of cryogenic rocket technology in China.[1]


In January 2002, the development of a new cryogenic engines was approved by the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. The development responsibility was assigned to the Beijing Aerospace Propulsion Institute, a division of the Academy of Aerospace Launch Propulsion Technology. The preliminary design was accomplished by middle 2002 and the first set of components was manufactured by early 2003. The same year saw the initial component and subsystem tests, with the gas generator successfully performing its first test on July 30. By December 2003 the whole powerpack successfully passed its first integrated test, and on September 17, 2004 a successful 50 seconds firing of a whole prototype engine was achieved.

In May 2013 the formal qualification testing campaign began. By the end of 2013 more than 70 tests and 24,000 seconds of firing at steady state conditions have been performed by 12 engines. The concept review confirmed that the performance goal and launcher requirements were met, and the engine was ready for integration for the maiden launch of the Long March 5 rocket.[2] Engine development began in the 2000s, with testing directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) commencing in 2005. The engine has been successfully tested by mid-2007.[5]

Technical Description[edit]

The requirements for an inexpensive and high reliability disposable engine are met by using dual 510 kN (110,000 lbf) (sea level) gas generator engines on a single mounting frame. Each engine has dual turbopumps with separate gas exhaust. Both turbines are fed by a single fuel rich gas generator. The combustion chambers and throat are regeneratively cooled, while the welded pipe constructed nozzle uses dump cooling. The turbopumps use solid propellant cartridge for start up, while the gas generator and combustion chamber use pyrotechnic igniter. The valves and prevalves are helium actuated ball valves. The thrust and mixture ratio are calibrated with venturis and a propellant utilization valve on ground tests. The engine also has dual heat exchanger to supply hot gaseous hydrogen and oxygen for tank pressurization.[2]

All subsystems are attached to the combustion chamber and gimbal is achieved by rotating the whole engine on two orthogonal planes with two independent actuators. The injector plate uses coaxial injectors with some extended to create baffles that prevent high frequency instabilities. The Titanium fuel turbopump uses a two-stage pump with inducer and is actuated by a two-stage axial turbine. It rotates at 35,000 [rpm] and supplies a discharge pressure of 16.5 MPa (2,390 psi). The oxydizer turbopump uses a single stage centrifugal pump with a helical inducer driven by a two-stage turbine. It rotates at 18,000 [rpm] and supplies a discharge pressure of 14 MPa (2,000 psi).[2]


  1. ^ a b "YF-77火箭发动机" [YF-77 rocket engine]. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wang, Weibin; Zheng, Dayong; Qiaot, Guiyu (2013-09-23). "Development Status of the Cryogenic Oxygen/Hydrogen YF-77 Engine for Long-March 5" (pdf). 64rd International Astronautical Congress, Beijing, China. (International Astronautical Federation). IAC-13-C4.1 (2x17679): 7. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  3. ^ Nan, Zhang (2013-09-23). "The Development of LOX/LH2 Engine in China" (pdf). 64rd International Astronautical Congress, Beijing, China. (International Astronautical Federation). IAC-13-C4.1 (1x18525): 5. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  4. ^ "Chang Zheng-5 (Long March-5)". SinoDefence. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  5. ^ Chen, Minkang; Ru, Jiaxin (2007). 神箭凌霄 : 长征系列火箭的发展历程 [Divine Arrow Crosses the Sky: Development History of Long March Rocket Series] (in Chinese). Shanghai: Shanghai Science Technology and Education Press. ISBN 7542841130. OCLC 223362195. 

External links[edit]