The RRS hosted the University of Southern California (USC) Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (RPL) from Friday, 11/11, to Sunday, 11/13/2022 for a static firing of their latest experimental class, solid propellant motor design, Firebiter. I was the pyrotechnic operator in charge with Keith Yoerg and Michael Rouleau apprenticing.
Back in September, USC completed a series of test grain burns which gave valuable regression factors necessary for their full 6-inch scale solid motor.
Borrowing from painful past experiences, USC RPL under their team leader, Julia Woomer, found a good compromise between stability and performance as evidenced by their hotfire on Sunday just three minutes before noon.
The RRS has had a long successful relationship with USC for over a decade. USC will prepare another full-scale motor for flight soon.
by Dave Nordling, President, Reaction Research Society
The University of Southern California (USC) Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (RPL) conducted a series of six propellant sample burns for characterizing their latest mixture. I was the pyrotechnic operator in charge for that day. New member and former USC RPL student, Michael Rouleau, was my apprentice that day.
Testing took place in the horizontal configuration on our repaired pad with the new 3/4” female pattern using a load cell and chamber pressure transmitters reading from the bulkhead in a modular nozzle can configuration.
USC RPL has had several motor failures in recent times which has led this year’s team to try a better known and safer recipe. COVID-19 played a role in creating a knowledge gap. This year’s team hopes to reclaim a success when the full static fire motor is tested at the RRS MTA in a little more than a month.
by Keith Yoerg, Secretary, Reaction Research Society
The society held its monthly meeting for March on Friday, the 11th, at 7:30pm by teleconference.
The following items were on the agenda.
Chris Lancaster’s presentation on rocket bikes and drag racing history
Review of recent MTA events, USC RPL static fire
Upcoming events at the MTA
Delivery of new 40-foot storage container by Dimitri Timohovich
Site maintenance and upgrades
Wolframe Blume’s next flight of the Gas Guzzler
Bill Inman’s testing for steam rocketry
Low power launches
Upcoming university event requests and inquiries
USC RPL static fire and flight
University of Michigan, MASA in May 2022
UC Irvine and Cal Poly Pomona
Student classes and launches
LAPD CSP – STRIVE event, 4/2/2022
YMCA classes, launch on 5/1/2022(?)
RRS post office box, renewal and other options
We spent the majority of our time on the subject of early rocketry in drag racing and rocket bikes. Chris Lancaster of Pennsylvania spent an extraordinary amount of time researching this subject and the specific rocket bike built by Henk Vink now on exhibit in Germany. A stand-alone article on this topic may be forthcoming.
The MTA firing report from 3/12/2022 covers the events from that day following the meeting. The anticipated events were discussed at the meeting.
The RRS will continue to keep our post office box in Los Angeles (Inglewood) 90009 for another year. The annual cost has been rising but it remains well used for correspondence.
Reaction Research Society; P.O. Box 90933; Los Angeles, CA, 90009
Our director of research, Richard Garcia, agreed to investigate LNG safety guidelines with regard to flaring of this volatile fuel in amateur rocketry applications. He will submit his findings to the council for internal peer review. The RRS will be creating a policy on this issue as some amateur liquid rocket projects intend to use natural gas (largely methane).
Further updates to this meeting report are forthcoming.
Next meeting will be April 8th. For those interested in attending, contact the RRS secretary.