Aerojet, FTT Form Partnership to Compete for NASA’s New Engine


Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, and Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT) announced today that the companies have entered into a strategic partnership to compete for research, development and production on NASA’s new hydrocarbon engine and advanced upper stage engine. This expands the very successful teamwork that Aerojet and FTT have underway on the U.S. Air Force Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator (HBTD) and Upper Stage Engine Technology (USET) programs.

The HBTD program is developing key, high-impact components and enabling technology for a world-class hydrocarbon engine. Aerojet and FTT will provide the innovation to expand this effort into a comprehensive engine development program that provides transformational propulsion capability for NASA, DoD and commercial launch vehicles. In 2007, Aerojet and FTT competed and won the HBTD program which is the only U.S. engine development program working on an advanced rocket engine cycle.

“NASA’s plans for innovative propulsion R&D on a new hydrocarbon engine are critical to America’s leadership in space launch,” said Aerojet CEO Scott Seymour. “Winning the opportunity to work on these new NASA investments will allow Aerojet and FTT to expand and employ a whole new generation of engineers and scientists in developing the world’s best hydrocarbon engine – and then to produce these engines in a new facility located in the United States. Aerojet is excited about joining in a strategic partnership with the innovative professionals at FTT to compete for and win this very important work.”

“We look forward to growing our relationship with Aerojet, and the opportunity to build on our Air Force hydrocarbon engine technology with NASA,” said FTT CEO Shirley Brostmeyer. “We are also proud of the opportunity to help build new high technology R&D engineering and manufacturing positions within the state of Florida.”

Aerojet and FTT are the premier hydrocarbon engine team in the United States.

Aerojet continues to be a pioneer in developing world-class U.S. hydrocarbon engine capabilities. Aerojet is providing the AJ26 engine (derived from the NK-33, the world’s first oxidizer-rich, staged-combustion, oxygen/kerosene rocket engine, which achieves very high performance in a lightweight, compact package) for Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Taurus II launch vehicle. This summer Aerojet will begin acceptance testing of the AJ26 engine at NASA Stennis Space Center leading to a planned first flight of the Taurus II in June 2011. Aerojet also just successfully hot-fire tested a 5,500 lbf liquid oxygen – liquid methane engine at NASA White Sands Test Facility under a contract with NASA Glenn Research Center with support from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Florida Turbine Technologies is working closely with AFRL, NASA, and Aerojet to develop state-of-the-art technologies for next generation turbopumps which provide extremely high pressure fuel to the rocket’s engine. These technologies include cavitation models, bearing and seal components, flowpath design, and health management sensors, which are being developed and tested as part of the USET, HBTB and other R&D programs.