Early French EOLE, Veronique and Vesta rocket programs

Norbert Brügge, Germany

Update: 11.06.2015

 

 EOLE


        

 
The French LRBA in 1946 created a ballistic missile project EA 1946. The rocket was named EOLE (Vehicle using Liquid Oxygen and petroleum Ether). The second static test in 1950 ended in the explosion of the test stand. It was suspected that the mixture Petroleum-Ether/LOX could be hypergolic.
Petroleum-ether was therefore replaced by Ethyl-Alcohol in a new version of the EOLE rocket (EA 1951). The tank arrangement was also modified; now in tandem instead of concentrically.
Two flight tests took place in November 1952 from Hammaguir. Both ended in failure, the fin arrangement being destroyed at the time of crossing the sound barrier. The EOLE project was cancelled in december 1952.
The nominal launch mass of the rocket would be 3.42 tons of which 2.72 tons are propellants. The test vehicle had 0.79 m in diameter and was about 7.70 m long. It was a lightened vehicle with a propellant capacity reduced to 40%. Thrusts higher than 90 kN were obtained.
There no information as to which engine had the EOLE rocket. But there is no doubt that the engine was from the German "Wasserfall" rocket. France had short post the war developed no own engine with a thrust of 90 kN.
  

Vehicle

Propellant Thrust s.l. Isp s.l. Thrust vac Isp vac Propellant Burn time Flow rate Total Imp vac

-

- kN Ns/kg kN Ns/kg tons sec t/sec MN*sec
Project Alcohol/LOX 89.7 1648 117.1 2148 2.725 50 0.0545 7.9
Test vehicle 89.7 1648 117.1 2148 1.090 20 0.0545 2.3
 

Veronique-N

  
On March 15, 1949, the French DEFA (direction des études et fabrication d'armement) makes the decision to launch a study for a sounding rocket "4213".

A few months later, the LRBA Vernon began working on the project "4213". It was renamed for "Veronique". Two variants were produced: Veronique-N" and "Veronique-NA". They were 6.5 m and 7.3 m long with a diameter of 0.55 m. For propellants were used Diesel oil/Nitric Acid.

The propulsion system consists of three elements: gas generator, propellant tanks and combustion chamber with direct injection. The nozzle is made of graphite with steel reinforcement. A double wall allows the cooling due to the circulation of a film of Nitric Acid. Through a series of holes in the injector-plate is injected the oxidizer. The Veronique no turbos use to get in the motor the propellants; the tank pressurization is achieved by the gas generator.
The Veronique-N is stabilized during the first 60 meters of the flight by a cabel device. The principle is to maintain the correct direction of the axis of the rocket by four cables with a single vertical axis drum. On the side of the rocket the four cables are attached at the ends of four rigid arms. They are fixed at the four fins by explosive bolts.
  

Vehicle

Operational

Propellant Thrust s.l. Isp s.l. Thrust vac Isp vac Propellant Burn time Flow rate Total Imp vac

-

-

- kN Ns/kg kN Ns/kg tons sec t/sec MN*sec
R 8 Diesel/NA 38.2 1942 48.1 2442  variable 6 ...30 0.0197  
N 11 38.2 1942 48.1 2442 0.631 32 0.0197 1.5
NA 4 38.2 1942 48.1 2442 0.966 49 0.0197 2.4


Maquette de Veronique-N au musée de Vernon (photo Pierre Francois Mourieux)


  
Veronique-N launch


Veronique-NA


          


Veronique-N

Veronique (AGI, 61, 61M)


The later produced "Veronique-AGI" and "Veronique-61 (M)" were changed. The new created LRBA-engines on the propellants Turpentine/Nitric Acid were based.



 


Veronique (AGI) rear

      
Veronique propulsion


    
Veronique-AGI

 

Vehicle

Operational

Propellant Thrust s.l. Isp s.l. Thrust vac Isp vac Propellant Burn time Flow rate Total Imp vac

-

-

- kN Ns/kg kN Ns/kg tons sec t/sec MN*sec
 AGI 48 Turpentine/NA 40.2  1853 44.3 2040  0.910 42 0.0217 1.9
61 3 57.4 1853 63.2 2040 1.611 52 0.0310 3.3
61M 18 57.4 1853 63.2 2040 1.740 56 0.0310 3.5


               
Veronique-61


                
Veronique-61M



 

Vesta


Vesta propulsion


        
 

Vehicle

Operational

Propellant Thrust s.l. Isp s.l. Thrust vac Isp vac Propellant Burn time Flow rate Total Imp vac

-

-

- kN Ns/kg kN Ns/kg tons sec t/sec MN*sec
Vesta 6 Turpentine/NA 139.8 1853 153.7 2040 4.300 57 0.0754 8.8