Middle England trembles before roaring LOHAN

Final hypobaric chamber rocket motor tests a fire and ice spectacular

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...And standing back before pressing the red button:

Rob Eastwood pushes the ignition button

We wanted to test APCP and igniters under the most extreme conditions possible, so we first dropped both into dry ice for 30 minutes before use. The result was that while the igniters shrugged off the nasty nip in the air, APCP will not burn if it's frozen:

A chunk of unburnt APCP after the REHAB chamber ordeal

However, an uninsulated APCP motor which has merely undergone cooling from ground ambient temperature to around -50°C, over roughly 30 minutes, is quite happy to perform:

Smoke billows from the REHAB chamber as Paul and Rob look on

All in all, a roaring success. Since our full-fat Vulture 2 spaceplane motor has an external heater (more here), and a greater volume of propellant (and therefore more thermal mass), we're not overly concerned that it'll suffer to anywhere the same degree as our test APCP did.

Regarding the igniters, we now have the luxury of three proven blends to choose from. All of these will go aloft on Saturday, and we'll make our final choice based on that flight.

That's the summary of last weekend's REHAB tomfoolery, and when we've got the results of the final high-altitude blast, we'll bring you full details of the whole epic process. In the meantime, we leave you with this image of what happens in REHAB when LOHAN checks in for the day:

The scorched REHAB chamber after the tests

You'll now have to excuse us, because we've got prepare for the imminent hot vinyl wrapping of the Vulture 2. That's happening on Thursday, and will mark the end of the rocket ship livery job. Watch this space for magnificent snaps of the finished result...®

More from the lovely LOHAN:

  • You can find full LOHAN coverage right here.
  • If you're new to LOHAN, seek out our mission summary for enlightenment.
  • There are photos our our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane here, and detailed structural plans here.
  • For your further viewing pleasure, we have all our photographic material stored on Flickr.
  • Our LOHAN and Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) videos live on YouTube.
  • We sometimes indulge in light consensual tweeting, as you can see here.

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

  • 3T RPD logo
  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
  • Escher Technologies
  • Flashpoint Fireworks logo
  • HAB Supplies logo
  • Rock 7 logo
  • Random Engineering logo
  • Space Graphic Solutions logo
  • 3D Robotics logo

Paper Aircraft Released Into Space

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