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LOHAN breathes fire in REHAB

Hypobaric rocket motor test an explosive success – finally

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Somewhat downhearted, we whipped out our second motor, a Cesaroni P29-1G casing, with a 57F59-12A "White Thunder" reload. Obviously, we weren't using the supplied igniter seen here:

The components of the Cesaroni P29-1G motor

After yet another countdown, and with little expectation of seeing LOHAN belch smoke and flame, I pressed the button on our 12V igniter box, the fuse popped and...

The REHAB chamber just before motor ignition

...nothing for several seconds, until we were suddenly obliged to take cover with a certain amount of alacrity...

The lid begins to lift and smoke comes out of the chamber

Fire flames come from chamber as lid blows off

The chamber lid almost vertical as it flies away from the rocket exhaust

The lid almost clear of the chamber

Flames shooting out of the chamber

Smoke coming out of the chamber after the motor burns out

We're not sure what scared the neighbours more: the brief mighty roar of the motor or Rui's subsequent triumphant whooping, which you can enjoy in this quick vid of the test. Note that the 57F59-12A reload has a 0.96-second burn time, and an unadjusted 12-second delay on the ejection charge, so it performed as expected:

Watch Video

So, we now have to get some dry ice sent over to test the Cesaroni motor at low temperature. This will determine if we need some sort of heating to keep things toasty during the Vulture 2's ascent to the stratosphere.

That would be a hassle, rather than a major problem. Suffice it to say, we've now demonstrated that a solid rocket motor will fire at altitude, given enough poke.

With that fundamental question answered, we're in very good shape to move forward with our audacious spaceplane mission. We'll announce just which motor will actually be driving our spaceplane in due course...®

Further LOHAN resources:

  • New to LOHAN? Try this mission summary for enlightenment.
  • You can find full LOHAN coverage right here.
  • Join the expert LOHAN debate down at Reg forums.
  • All the LOHAN and Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) vids live on YouTube.
  • For our SPB photo archive, proceed directly to Flickr.
  • We sometimes indulge in light consensual tweeting, as you can see here.

LOHAN - A Special Projects Bureau production in association with...

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  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
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