Beach Shoot #11 - Sorbitol Rocket

Date: 2003-11-10


9.5 mm ID, 50 mm long casing, wax treated cat litter clay bulkhead and 2.5 mm nozzle. Standard stick stabilizer and blackmatch fuse glued in place with meal-NC lacquer.

Nozzle and core was drilled out after ramming the composition. Core ran full length of composition grain. Composition of 65% Potassium Nitrate, 34% Sorbitol, 1% Iron Oxide (red).


Royally sucked.

Flew parallel to the ground for about 50 metres down the beach, crashed and smoked the residual traces of its propellant for a few moments. I couldn't find it, by the time I went out to recover it the smoke had cleared, and despite a full moon finding a 50 mm long case on a beach in the dark is next to impossible.

I didn't bother to take a pre-test picture, figured I'd be able to recover it, as I expected its performance to be average at best.

Its official, I give up on sugar based rockets. They just don't have the punch for smaller devices. They might work well on larger grains (and are undoubtly more safely scalable to big motors - less chance of voids or cracks and easier preperation).

Now I am stuck with 2 kg of sorbitol, so I either get into really freaking huge motors or flog it on eBay.

One possible use for my copious stock is in go-getter style fish/serpents. While testing the composition I rammed a small quantity of the powder into short 5 mm ID lance tubes. They produced a long-burning ground serpent when test fired (unchoked, fused with blackmatch). Adding a little metal or lampblack to the composition might make a usable effects fish.


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