The rocket plane is powered by two liquid-fuel engines designed, tested, and built by XCOR Aerospace. The XR-4K14 engine is sized to put out 1,500 lbf. and uses a proprietary piston fuel pump that can pump from an unpressurized tank. XCOR's experiments have shown that the piston pump can draw propellant with a low-inlet pressure. The engine uses a regulated helium pressurization system for the LOX tank.
How soon will people be going to watch a rocket race? "Races are slated to begin in late summer 2007 utilizing a fleet of Mark-1 X-Racers [rocket planes]," said Granger Whitelaw, RRL CEO. According to the RRL any private pilot with a strong stomach would be eligible to race in the league. Pilots will follow a tunnel on their cockpit screens to stay on track. RRL intends to race only at airports so multiple planes landing to re-fuel or taking off to race will have plenty of room.
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