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The A4 rocket, better known under the name V2 (retaliation weapon 2), was developed in Peenemünde as a ballistic missile for the German Wehrmacht during World War II.

In gigantic tunnels near Nordhausen in the Harz mountains, concentration camp prisoners produced around 6000 V2 rockets under inhumane conditions in what was then the largest underground armaments factory.

The engine of the A4 (V2) rocket is on display, the first rocket motor to be built in large series with liquid fuel. The high combustion temperature in the combustion chamber required cooling: The turbine pump feeds the fuel alcohol into the double wall of the engine at the lower end. The alcohol flows between the inner and outer walls to the injection head, absorbs heat and reaches the combustion chamber via injection nozzles. A main valve regulates the injection pressure. Another cooling line brings alcohol directly to fine openings in the inner chamber wall: The alcohol seeps along the wall, forms a thin film that evaporates and thus provides additional cooling.


Technical specifications:

  • Manufacturer: Mittelwerk GmbH, Nordhausen, um 1944
  • Thrust: about 245 kN
  • Pressure in the combustion chamber: 14 bar
  • Temperature: 2660 ºC
  • Weight: 400 kg
  • Oxidizer: Liquid oxygen (72 kg/sec)
  • Fuel:  75% ethyl alcohol (58 kg/sec)
  • Combustion duration: 65 sec