Dubai company Leap 71, specializing in engineering solutions using artificial intelligence, recently unveiled a new missile engine that was designed in just two weeks. This achievement was made possible thanks to the AI model called noyron, which autonomously created the engine drawings without any human involvement. The new engine was 3D printed on a copper basis by AMCM in Germany, underwent post-cutting at the University of Sheffield, and passed stand tests successfully.

Typically, the development of missile engines can take months or even years, but Leap 71’s AI model can generate new iterations in a matter of minutes. The engine uses cryogenic liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene as fuel, with a unique injector head design featuring a “modern coaxial swirl” for efficient fuel mixing.

This engine, with a thrust of 5 kN, is suitable for the final stage of orbital rocket disposal and can lift masses of up to 500 kg. Engine tests were conducted at the Airborne Engineering base in Wescott, Great Britain.

The copper material used in the engine’s printing allows for the creation of compact and high-performance engines with active cooling, despite its low melting point. Cooling channels are integrated around the combustion chamber to maintain optimal temperature by circulating kerosene.

The tests demonstrated the engine’s stability and its ability to sustain burning for 12 seconds during a test fire. While successful, further optimization is needed as post-test analysis revealed higher-than-expected cooling channel resistance due to surface roughness from 3D printing. Additional work is required to enhance the design for use in actual space missions.

Leap 71 aims to democratize space travel through their AI-driven approach to creating missile engines. Managing director Josephin Lisner expressed excitement about the potential impact, stating, “We can now automatically create functional missile engines and immediately proceed to their practical check. Innovation in space propulsion is challenging and expensive. With our approach, we hope to make the cosmos more accessible to everyone.”

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.