Friday 12th August 2011: After several days (and long nights) preparing his new UK rocket facility, Daniel Jubb and his Falcon rocket team successfully fired the development 6 inch diameter hybrid rocket today.
Although the day was set up specifically for the BBC to record an item for the forthcoming "Bang Goes the Theory" programme, Daniel explained that it was a genuine development firing - the chamber being used had already been fired in a previous test, and one of the goals of today's test was to see how the rocket would perform being fired again.
Pictured right, the rocket was set up in its bunker; the HTP tank can be seen behind. Once the tank was carefully filled with the liquid hydrogen peroxide, the whiole team moved to the control room a safe distance away. The tank was then pressurised remotely using extremely pure nitrogen, and the test was underway.
The tension mounted in the control room as the countdown to the firing began - would the test be successful? Would the rocket even light spontaneously? (Daniel's team was standing by with pyrotechnic igniters if the used solid fuel refused to burn!)
The result was truly spectacular - the rocket fired up exactly to plan and the burn lasted for around 10 seconds. Video screens in the control room showed exactly what was going on, and although there was no sound link, the roar from the engine could be easily heard from a couple of hundred metres away and through two bunker walls! Everyone present gave Daniel and his team a spontaneous round of applause!
After an appropriate length of time, Daniel invited all present to see the rocket. With smoke still hanging in the air, the picture below shows Daniel taking his first look. Now the work starts analysing the results and data from the many sensors around the test.
Thanks go to the Falcon Project and the following Bloodhound product sponsors who all made this successful test possible:
- Oliver Valves
- Servo Interconnect Ltd (Deutsch)
- Air Products
- alimex UK Precision in Aluminium Ltd
- G & J Lockwood Limited
- Rainham Industrial Services
Some of the results from the test are as follows:
- Total burn time: 14.1 sec, 6 sec (main-stage)
- HTP flow rate: 8.99 lb/sec (main-stage)
- Thrust produced: 2,510 lbf (main-stage)
- Burn temperature: Not measured, but around 2,509 degC.
- % fuel burn: 92% of solid fuel total, 40% on this run.
Main-stage specific impulse was 239 sec, that is as high as the previous run, but at a lower chamber pressure. Peak chamber pressure was 550 psi. The new nozzle material performed really well. The ignition was perfect.
Please have a look at the video of the firing in Cisco Bloodhound TV Episode 4.