Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 16, 2007

Homemade Rocket Motor Test

at 2:27 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


Who said building and testing rocket motors in your basement is dangerous?

“This is the first static test with our homemade tar/oxygen hybrid rocket motor. James Turner and myself (Eric Stackpole), and two of our friends, Jeff Bernard and Caleb Lesher did this project last summer because we wanted to learn more about how rocket engines work. We built the rocket in James’ garage in Humboldt County, CA completely out of parts we got at the local hardware store. We had previously done a little over 20 tests with polyethylene, but none of them came close to this having much power (note the shaking of the camera when the rocket fires.) The camera did not capture them, but we could clearly see shock diamonds (indicating a supersonic exhaust velocity) running the entire length of the plume. We would have begun working on getting run times longer and perfecting nozzle geometry, but parents made us stop the experiments completely after our first test. There are several even larger rockets we built that we are waiting to be run if we get the chance. Admittedly, we did not know the rocket would be this powerful, and the fist thing we did after this test was build an enclosure with one foot thick walls filled with sand. We’ll post more clips as we develop our rocket program.”