HYBRID ROCKET MOTORS
From top to bottom: RATTWorks M-class Hybrid Rocket Motor, Hypertek J-class Hybrid Rocket Motor, Microhybrid D-class Hybrid Rocket Motor, and Estes D-class solid rocket motor for size comparison.
Having been involved in hybrid rocket motor development since 1993, and subsequently launching commercial hybrid rocket motors as soon as they could be shipped to the UK, I have had plenty of opportunity to build up a considerable personal collection of hybrid rocket motors. Currently I have 10 hybrid rocket motor systems, ranging through M-class, L-class, K-class, J-class, I-class, H-class, G-class and D-class., or a total impulse range from 10,000 Newton seconds down to 10 Newton seconds.
My current hybrid rocket motors include a R.A.T.T.Works M-900 hybrid rocket motor, which can be reconfigured for use as an L-600 hybrid rocket motor. This motor was further advanced by the manufacturers with an experimental injector system called the X-Flow injector. I also acquired a X-Flow injector, since it provides a significant boost in the performance of the hybrid rocket motor.
The R.A.T.T.Works M-900 is a beautiful piece of engineering, and also quite impressive, at 72" long, and 2.6" diameter. It uses Nitrous Oxide as the oxidiser, as do all other known commercial off the shelf hybrid rocket motors. I ordered the M-900 hybrid motor from Bob Fortune of Aerocon Systems in the U.S., because of his extensive rocketry knowledge, and I knew I'd get good after sales support from him.
THE WORKHORSE HYBRID ROCKET MOTORS
Hypertek J-class Hybrid Rocket Motor.
For regular hybrid rocket launches to more moderate altitudes, I have a Hypertek 54mm hybrid rocket system, complete with a removeable stainless steel injector plate, which significantly improves the life of the Hypertek hybrid rocket motor. The system I have, currently has the 300cc oxidiser tank for launches in the I-class total impulse range, and a 440cc oxidiser tank for launches in the J-class total impulse range.
Originally, along with Pete Davy of UK based Pete's Rockets, I was lucky enough to have been testing the R.A.T.T.Works H-70 and I-80 hybrid rocket motors, a year before they became generally available. These hybrid motors were ordered direct from the manufacturer in the U.S.; R.A.T.T.works, and use Nitrous Oxide as the oxidiser, and offer great safety benefits over other rocket motors. The motors neccesistated an automated, ground based oxidiser fill system, this task is now fulfilled by the 2 hybrid fill/launch systems that MARS has, the Hypertek launch system - with adaptors to fly R.A.T.T.Works hybrids as well as Hypertek hybrids, and a custom MARS hybrid Ground Support system.
Following on from this first vehicle, I launched a number of other of my rockets on the R.A.T.T.Works hybrid rocket motors, making 10 flights on the R.A.T.T.Works H-70 and I-80 motors before a clueless jobsworth succeeded in getting R.A.T.T.Works hybrid motors banned in the U.K. because of their pyrovalve ignition system. At that point, having previously bought the Hypertek 54mm hybrid motor system mentioned above, from Pete's Rockets in the UK, with the standard 440cc oxidiser tank for J-class flights, and a 300cc oxidiser tank for I-class flights, I switched to using the Hypertek hybrid motors on a few new rockets I had built specifically to accomodate the Hypertek hybrid motors. So far, I have made 12 flights on the Hypertek hybrid rocket motors.
THE MID POWER HYBRID ROCKET MOTORS
For mid power rocketry using hybrid rocket motors, I have a set of 3 x 29mm diameter Skyripper Systems hybrid rocket motors acquired from Uncle Bob's Rocket Shop in the U.K., the Skyripper G-63, G-69 and H-78 hybrid rocket motors. These hybrid motors are opening up the use of hybrid rocket motor technology to a whole new rocketry audience, since not only are they cheap to run, but they also, significantly, address the mid power rocketry market as opposed to the High Power Rocketry market.
The 29mm diameter Skyripper hybrid rocket motors are monotube hybrids like the R.A.T.T.Works hybrids (i.e. the combustion chamber and the oxidiser tank are fitted in a single tube separated by a floating injector head), and again, like the R.A.T.T.Works hybrids, they use an Urbanski-Colburn valve for the injector. The Skyripper hybrid rocket motors use Nitrous Oxide as the oxidiser and ABS as the fuel.
THE MICRO HYBRID ROCKET MOTORS
Microhybrid Hybrid Rocket Motor, with Estes D-class solid rocket motor (on right) for comparison).
Rounding out my collection of hybrid rocket motors, are my model rocketry hybrid rocket motors. These consist of 2 Microhybrid rocket motors bought from Eclipse Rocketry in the U.K. The microhybrids, like all the other hybrid rocket motors I have, use Nitrous Oxide as the oxidiser, and allow a range of different fuel grains to be used.
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