3D-Printing technology is key in the path of Zephyr industrialization. It enables the mass production of Navier, the in-house engine developed by VOS team. To make this possible, VOS partners with Saturne Technology that provides decades of expertise in additive manufacturing on high standards industries such as nuclear, medical, aerospace or jewelry.
Saturne Technology supports the production of our Inconel 718-based Navier Mark I thanks to their infrastructure. The Navier Mark I requirements provided by our propulsion department paired with Saturne Technology’s expertise enable them to print this first version of Navier in less than one week. To print our Navier Mark I, they leverage their SLM500 3D Printer.
Navier Mark I is the first iteration of the Navier program. It will be followed by a second version, Navier Mark II. Navier MKII will power Zephyr during the maiden launch which will take place in 2024 and following. Hence, Navier Mark I helps our different technical departments to optimize their work towards Navier Mark II.
These Navier Mark I will be tested during 2022 in Vernon thanks to a partnership with ArianeGroup. This partnership started one year ago to ensure that both companies comply with the requirement of the other company. Regarding Navier MKII, the flight-optimized engine will be tested in 2023. Different tests will take place such as single-engine test, cluster test and test of Navier MKII SL, the atmospheric-optimized Navier MKII version and Navier MKII vacuum, the space-optimized Navier MKII version.