HYBRID ROCKET MOTORS

THE UK ANGLE

High Power Rocketry hybrid rocket motors are gaining in popularity in the U.K., and have been seen at all 3 of the major High Power Rocketry events in the U.K. (The International Rocket Week in Scotland, the UKRA Annual launch event and K-Lob), as well as local launch events such as EARS, Black Knights and SWARM launch events. The attractions of not requiring an explosives licence, the much cheaper launch costs over a solid rocket motor, as well as the unique sound they produce, make them very tempting.

At the moment, the following commercially available hybrid motors are used in the UK:



Hybrid Rocket Motor
Manufacturer
Total Impulse Class Motor Diameter Approximate
Reload Costs
Approximate
NOx Costs
Approximate
Operating Costs
R.A.T.T.Works  H-class
 I-class
 J-class
 K-class
 L-class
 M-class
 29mm
 29mm and 38mm
 29mm and 38mm
 64mm
 64mm
 64mm
 9.00
 9.00
 NA
 NA
 80.00
 100.00
Hypertek  I-class
 J-class
 K-class
 L-class
 M-class
 54mm
 54mm
 54mm
 75mm
 98mm
 15.00
 25.00
 25.00
 80.00
 120.00
Skyripper  G-class
 H-class
 I-class
 J-class
 29mm
 29mm and 38mm
 38mm
 38mm
 9.00
 9.00

West Coast Hybrids  H-class
 I-class
 J-class
 38mm
 38mm
 38mm
Contrail  G-class
 H-class
 I-class
 J-class
 K-class
 L-class
 M-class
 38mm
 38mm
 38mm
 38mm
 75mm
 75mm
 75mm
Micro-hybrid  D-class
 E-class
 24mm
 24mm
 0.50
 0.50

Note: The information listed above, is current up to November, 2005.

Currently, all brands of hybrid rocket motor are available direct from the U.S. manufacturers or via their U.K. distributor, Uncle Bob's Rocket Shop, or other vendors such as Pete's Rockets (on an occasional basis), Eclipse Rocketry and Rockets and Things. In the UK, the largest range of hybrid rocket motors is not surprisingly, carried by Uncle Bob's Rocket Shop. Hybrid rocket motors can be also be bought in mainland Europe at Rebel Rocketry, Europe's largest rocket shop / online store.

Additional hybrid rocket motors commercially available are the:


R.A.T.T.WORKS

The R.A.T.T.Works hybrid rocket motors were the first hybrid motors to become commercially available in the U.K. They use a through-the-injector fill method, where the igniter burns through the fill pipe to release the oxidiser into the combustion chamber. The R.A.T.T.Works hybrid rocket motors range from H-class to M-class performance.

Advantages: Very low running costs, long burn.
Disadvantages: Low thrust, costs to initially set up ground support equipment can be twice the cost of the motor, heavier than a comparable solid rocket motor.



HYPERTEK

A Hypertek hybrid rocket motor was the first commercially available hybrid rocket motor to be launched in the U.K. when Scott Bartel of Black Sky Research launched Hypertek hybrids at the International Rocket Weekend in Scotland, in August 1996. The Hypertek motors range from I-class to M-class performance.

Advantages: Low running costs.
Disadvantages: High ground support equipment costs required initially, heavier than a comparable solid rocket motor.



MICRO-HYBRID

The micro-hybrid is the newest hybrid rocket motor to become available in the U.K., and has the unique distinction of being the only hybrid rocket motor for model rockets in the world. Ranging from D-class to E-class performance, the micro hybrids use Nitrous Oxide sparklet bulbs for oxidiser tanks, and a clever screw system to pierce the neck of the sparklet bulb. The oxidiser is retained in the sparklet bulb by a plastic seal disk, which is burned on ignition, thus enabling the Nitrous Oxide to enter the combustion chamber and burn with the fuel.

Advantages: Running costs are incredibly low, no set-up costs.
Disadvantages: Heavier than a comparable solid rocket motor.

Note: Information current as of December, 2005.

For more hybrid information on this website, the following web pages may be of interest:



See Also

Hybrid Rocket Science, Hybrid Rocket Help Clinic, Amateur Hybrid Motors, Amateur Liquid Rockets, Guidance, Gimballed Motors, Launch Controller, UK Rocketry Vendors, UK Rocket Groups, UK Space Organisations