Beach Shoot #3 - Sugar & Iron Oxide Rocket

Date: 2003-09-03


Similar in construction to the last Beach shoot Sugar/IO rocket. Except the case was pasted rather than just taped.

Cereal box cardboard case, 7 layers glued with corn flour/alum/carbonate paste. 12 mm ID, 60 mm length, 3 mm diameter cavity, 25 mm deep into grain. 10 mm thick cat litter nozzle. Grain length of 35 mm. Bulkhead of paper wadding and hot melt glue.

KN/Sucrose/IO propellant:

70% Potassium Nitrate

29% Sucrose

1% Iron Oxide (red)

Exactly the same batch as the motor that CATOed and the later smaller device that worked fine.

Motor was rammed on mandrel, fused with meal-NS tissue paper fuse, no prime. This motor has misfired on a previous shoot with an experimental fuse (as seen in the picture). Standard medium-length kebab stick for a stabilizer.


Good flight.

Like the almost identical one launched last month, it took about 1 second to come up to pressure, but it lifted off a little quicker once it started to produce useful thrust.

The motor climed cautiously, definately not the performance of a meal BP rocket (when mine don't explode!), but it was a dead-straight flight with minor weather cocking into the gentle breeze.

Its apogee was about 80-100 metres judging by the surrounding terrain. Like all sugar rockets tested so far the tail effect was very small, and almost invisible on the videos. Quite trackable the the naked eye however.

The rocket was not recovered, it became impossible to track once it burnt out.

Reviewing the video of the last device of this design (which CATOed) frame-by-frame I now believe the arcing over was caused by a bulkhead seal leak which progressed quickly into a full breach and grain ejection. The unpasted case is very likely the culprit allowing between-layer blowby leakage and eventually full structural failure of the case. All future cased will be pasted not just taped.


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Rocket Launch video/x-msvideo 1.568 Mbytes
Pre-Launch Picture image/jpeg 33.204 kbytes