The last scheduled class for 2018 was held in September. More classes will be schedule for 2019, if you were not able to attend this year.
This one of a kine "hands on" solid rocket motor design class is also bundled with our popular "How To Make Amateur Rockets" booksets. The class teaches students how to design and build their your own solid rocket motors. The instructor is John Wickman, a professional aerospace engineer and internationally known in the field of rocket propulsion.
A highlight of the course will be when students press the firing button on the control panel to test their rocket motor. It will not be an ordinary firing button or control panel. It is the original firing button and control panel used by Aerojet, once called the "General Motors of Rocketry" by Time magazine. From this historic control panel was test fired solid rocket motors powering Polaris, Minuteman and MX missiles including tactical missiles such as Sidewinder, Maverick, Harpoon and many others. Students and their rocket motors will merge with solid rocket history as they press the firing button.
For More Information On This Exciting New Class - Click Here
** - Non U.S. citizens may legally attend the class. Military propellants and missile technology information is not included in the class.
We did a special solid rocket motor design for three students from the Rutgers Rocket Propulsion Laboratory. Unable to get in to the September rocket motor design class since that class was sold out. We added an extra class in October so they could attend a class.
The topic has come up from time to time about using Pyrodex instead of 4f black powder for ejection charges. We have found the secret to using Pyrodex as a direct substitute for 4f black powder after conducing a series of ground tests and successfully flying 11 rockets with various sized ejection charges all of them using 100% Pyrodex instead of black powder.
The Pyrodex to use is Hodgdon "P" or FFFG Equivalent for ejection charges in PVC pipes sealed on one end or phenolic tubes sealed on one end. The sealed end is usually a PVC fitting with a hole in the middle for the electrical wires to the e-match or flashbulb. If you use a flashbulb, make sure the tip of the flashbulb is in the Pyrodex powder. Flashbulbs do work with the Pyrodex as we had 100% success in ground tests and two flight tests.
We used an equivalent volume of the Pyrodex "P" as a substitute for the 4F black powder. After putting the powder in the open end of the tube, we would put a wadding material in the tube. We filled the rest of the open tube with wadding so that the powder stays at the base of the tube.
On the open end of the ejection charge tube, we would normally use masking tape to seal the tube when using black powder. For the Pyrodex, we used electrical tape to seal the tube. We put one piece across the open end of the tube with the ends of the tape going down the side of the tube. Then, we put another piece of electrical tape across the open end of the tube 90 degrees to the first piece with the ends going down the side of the tube. Looking at the end of the tube, it makes a cross pattern. Finally, we put a piece of electrical tape circumferentially around the tube at the end where we had put the electrical tape. This piece of tape goes over the ends of the first two pieces of tape. That's it.
We are flying just with Pyrodex now as it does not leave the residue or stink you get with black powder. Also, it is generally easier to obtain than blackpowder.