HyTest Rocket Launching
HyTest launches in September 2001 on a
R.A.T.T.Works I-80H hybrid rocket motor.
The payload was an R-DAS, and recovery
was single stage on a Rocketman R3C Pro-XP
Photograph by Bob Arnott


HyTest is a rocket designed specifically for avionics development, and hybrid motor testing. As well as generally carrying a number of distinct payload experiments, HyTest also has the capability to carry a CCD onboard colour video camera and a small transmitter. HyTest was designed from the outset to be as modular as possible, and to this end, it can also be configured for use as either a single stage or a 2-stage rocket, with a small hybrid or solid powered upper stage being fitted on a transition stage module.


Because HyTest is purely designed for avionics development, and hybrid motor testing, rather than as a performance vehicle, it is not equipped with a large diameter motor mount, but with a long motor mount to accomodate H-class and I-class hybrid motors. the top of the motor section holds the motor bulkhead, with an M6 U-Bolt fitted to the bulkplate.

The standard motor used for most test applications of the HyTest rocket, is the R.A.T.T.Works I-80H, hybrid rocket motor. This is a 367 Newton second total impulse hybrid rocket motor, powered by liquid Nitrous Oxide and solid polyethylene.


HyTest can be configured for either a single stage recovery system, or a 2-stage recovery system, so that a drogue parachute is deployed at apogee altitude, and a main parachute is deployed at 400 to 500 feet altitude.

The main parachute used with HyTest is a Rocketman Enterprises R3C ProXP Parachute, with a Nomex flameshield to protect it. Ejection charges to deploy the parachute are retained in SpaceTec SafeEject ejection canisters. The Main Recovery Airframe Bay is attached to the payload section coupler via removable pop-rivets.

When used in 2-stage recovery mode, the drogue used with HyTest is a PML Streamer, again with a Nomex flameshield to protect it, and ejection charges to deploy the drogue being retained in SpaceTec SafeEject ejection canisters. The Drogue Recovery Airframe Bay is attached to the payload section coupler via removable pop-rivets.


The payload section is a short length of airframe tube with a bulkhead at each end. Each bulkhead has an M6 U-bolt fitted, and 2 x 3mm diameter holes drilled through the bulkplate to run ejection charge ignition wires through.

The principle avionics system onboard the rocket is an AED R-DAS Classic. This is a versatile flight computer with 6 analogue inputs and 4 digital inputs in addition to its barometric pressure sensor and accelerometer, all are capable of being sampled at 200 Hz each.


The airframe of the rocket consists of a number of sections of PML 2.6" diameter Quantum Tube, with a PML 2.6" diameter nosecone, and a modified PML 2.6" diameter nosecone tapering down to 29mm diameter and used as a boattail. The sections are divided into: motor section, main recovery section, avionics section, drogue recovery section.


Launch Date Motor / Total Impulse Recovery Configuration Motor Stages Recovery Method Avionics Apogee Altitude
1 June 2001 I-80H
367 Ns
2-stage 1 Electronic R-DAS 721 ft
2 Sept 2001 I-80H
367 Ns
1-stage 1 Electronic R-DAS 1504 ft
3 Sept 2001 I-80H
367 Ns
1-stage 1 Electronic R-DAS 804 ft

Where can I buy in the UK?

In order to ensure it is easy for people to know how to easily locate the best High Power Rocketry Suppliers in the UK (and nearby), the individual rocketry pages on this site all detail this information:

Probably the best (and friendliest) High Power Rocketry suppliers in the UK for high power rocketry components, are and Rockets and Things (details on the UK Vendors web page on this website). The staff at both and at Rockets and Things are experienced rocketeers themselves, and can always draw on their practical rocket launching experience to answer any questions. I say this as a satisfied customer of their kits and components.

For avionics, I can again recommend and Rockets and Things, and also Random Solutions - the UK dealer of the G-Wiz range of peak altitude and recording altimeters, and Rebel Rocketry in the Netherlands, all of whom are also exceptionally good (and again very friendly and helpful). Also, for the AED R-DAS flight computer and its modules, it can be ordered direct from the manufacturers (AED) website aswell.

For rocketry tracking with an RF tracking beacon, the favourite, and the unit that recovers rockets time and time again, is the UK manufactured, Traxa RF Tracker, sold via, Rockets and Things and online through UK based, Eclipse Engineering. All these suppliers and vendors are detailed on the UK Vendors web page on this website.

See Also

PML AMRAAM 3, PML Patriot, LOC Caliber, LOC IV, PML Phobos, Blitzspear, Hytest, Get Real