Você está na página 1de 29

" ,

, I " !


. ~ . . :1

Prepa r.i n;g to Fire


. "


. "

j • r

"" The Army

". >~. : Assist~

. "."t ""

.. ,I

," ..

",,'1 "

.._. -

F '5·" "" 'J,"

ort I..,. ~ "{"~ •. o!'!"a

.... !..,




Commanding General. U. S. Army Field Artillery Ce nt e r and Fort Sill

Commandant, U. S. Army Field Artillery School


The tremendous interest in rocket dc vn lo prn e nt by high school a nd college s Lud c nt s has b e e n the s o u rc c of much g r a t i Ii c a t i o n to t ho s e who are rn o s t i nt e r o s t e d in the future of r o c k e t s and guided m i s s i l e s We foresee great b r-ric Ii t to our Nation as a consequence of thi s scientific

c u r i o s i t y on the part of the generation which w i l l soon b c a r the responsibility (or our s c i c nt i I i c progress. The United SLates Army desires to

e xt oncl the rn a x i n iu m degree of a s s i stance to, and to cooperate fully with, these bud d mg scientists in th e i r experimentations

We r e c o g ni z e that there is an e ve r > present danger in the usc of experi-

mental r o c k e t s Our newspapers record a lt o g c thc r too man)' Instances in

which young students have been seriously i nju r e d i n the USc of t h e s c devices. In the interest of i nc r e a s e d s a Ic tv , the Un i t e d States Army

Field Artillery Center at Fort Sr l l , Oklahoma. has mad" range facilities available to young scientists oi the surrounding v i c i n i t y to permit the firing of experimental rockets With a high degree of safely.

To further assist our young scientists, the united States Ar-rn y F'r e l d Artillery School has prepared this booklet. Mu c l: t e c h ni c a l data on mtliLary rockets and the h i g h- i rn p u l s e p r o pe l l a nt s which arc used in such weapons is available in the Arrn y ; u n Io r t u n a t el y , hull' technical data 15 available on the low-impulse propellants which are considered most

suitable for ex pe r i rn e nt at i o n by students Ac c o rd i n g ly , through a pro-

gram of e x pe r i m e nt a t i o r: and research, the i n Io r ru a t iu n c o nt a i ric d in this booklet has been collected. Other sources may·!:Jc rn o r e detailed and nlay develop this subject to a higher degree in certain respects. l-Iow c v e r , we believe that this booklet will be of assistance to those high school a n d college students who are beginning their cx pe r i rn e nt a t i o n in the devcloprn e nt 0: rockets.

Inq ui r i e s regarding the use of military range facilities and c o rn rn e nr s and questions regarding this booklet should be addressed to:


U. S Army Field Artillery School ATTN: AEPSIAS-GM

Fort Sill. Oklahoma 73503

CJJAHL£S p. BROWN ~,!aJor General. USA COIT1lnanding



EmpIrical informa'lion CO()I;)i~cd in this booklet is based on data ob-

t a iru-d f r orr, 36 actual Hring5 an1 [, static firillgs of zinc-sulfur propelled r-o c k e t s , Flight performance wa s measured by radar and SlOW motion photol-lraphy, Thrust, chamber Ipressure. and burning time were monitored during t h c static firings. Tne six s t at i c firings constitute a limited s a rn p l c , Comparison of burning rates obtained from slow motion photography in actual firings and thos~ obtained during static firings arc not

..... holly in agreement. For this reason, burning rates used in t h e examples contained herein are not conclusive.

Values included in the e xa rn p l e s and the preparation of t h e tables arc based on slide rule computations,

Reproduction is authorized pr-c v i d e d proper credit is given to the U. S. Army Field Artillery School. Fort Sill. Oklahoma.


I ~
I Page
I CHAPTER 1. lntroducti on 4
I 2. Propellants and the combustion process
I 8
3. Rocket engine design
I 13
I 4. Ignition systems 26
, 5, Aerodynamic surfaces 2.9
6. Rocket launchers 33
7. Rocket testing and performance analysis 37
8. Organization 44
9. Safety 46








Onr- of t h e most fascinatingl modern hobbies is designing and constructing s o l i d- propellant rockets. I This bo ok l ct has b e e n prepared to help young people who are interested in this hobby. The material in this booklet is clc rn e nt a r y to rocket science. More detailed and specific i n Io r rn at i o n is available in books written by professional rocket designers. Many n e w s items have been written about the success achieved by young people in Ji r i ng their horne-constructed rockets. Perhaps, also, you have read "bout s o rn e of the unfortunate accidents which have r e s u lt e d in death or in,ury to young rocketeers. This booklet discusses Some r,f the basic

p r i n c i p l e s and practices that help to make rocketry safer


Ro c k e t s can be as complicated as the Saturn V booster or a, s i r n p l e as a Fourth of July skyrocket. Most rockets consist of at least four parts (flg II: an engine, where the thrust, or push, is created; a n o s e cone.

wh i c h helps divide the flow of air around the rocket; a body section, which holds the other parts together; and the tail fins, which gi .. 'e the rocket

s t a b i l i t y just as feathers on the end of an arrow provide stability Some

rockets contain equipment to help guide the rocket as desired. in the Army, this type of rocket is called a guided missile; for example, the Pe r s h i ng and Sergeant guided missiles, which m a y be seen at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Before concentrating on the design of rockets, let us r e vi ew some of the basic principles of rocketry.


Toil fins

Figure I. Parts of a rocket.


The thrust, or propulsive force, created by a chemical rocket e ng i n e is the result of the combustion of a fuel and an oxidizer. There are s e v

e r a l types of chemical rockets, the most important of which are solidpropellant and liquid-propellant rockets. Each of these types has its own a d v a nt a g e s and disadvantages. This booklet deals e xc Iu s i ve l y with solidpr o pe Il ant rockets; their relative simplicity and economy and their relative ease and safety of handling; loading, and firing make them more suited to amateur rocketry applications than liquid-propellant rockets.


A typical s o l i d+p r o pe l l a nt rocket cnAine is shown in fil:ure 2. The s o l i d propellant may be compacted to form a solid grain or it may be loose, The propellant is c o rn p l e t e l y enclosed by the combustion chamber except for the end of the chamber where the nozzle is attached, A blow-out

Combuslion cno rnber

Solid propello,,'

Figure 2.. Typical rocket engine.

diaphragm is used to retain the propellant in the chamber during Jo ad i rrg , storage, and movement and to help build up pressure during ignition.

The propellant is ignited by a wire which is he at e d by electric current.

The nozzle assists in converting the energy of heat and pressure created in the combustion chamber to energy of rn o t i o n. The resulting thrust, or forward force, is approximately equal to the exhaust velocity times the weight of the propellant burned each second divided by the gravitational constant. First, consider a c h e rn i c a! reaction which produces heat or fire. A fire can be created only if three element, are present, a fuel, such as wood, gasoline, or alcohol; an oxidizing agent, such as the at rrio sphere, l i q u i d oxygen, or another c h c rn i c a I that contains oxygcn or reacts

s irn i l a r l y to ox}'gcn; and an igmtion system to kindle, or light, the fire.

l3t:t how is a fire used in a rocket engine to produce thrust? Si nc e the fire is confined on all sides but one, the c h e rn i c a l r e a c t i o.i is concentrated so that it builds up pressure and heat. Through proper design of the engine. which we will c ori s i de r later, the energy of heat and p r e s s u r e is converted to energy of rn o t io n, The rapid rnovement of the burning gases from the engine chamber creates the thrust. Chemicals which burn rapidly produce rrio r e thrust i n a given period of t i m e t h a n chemicals which burn slowly, but the more r a pi d=b u r ni rig chemicals are generally the more dangerous. To be practical, and to live to enjoy the hobby of rocketry,

vou mu s t settle for chemicals which do not react violently. Fron1 this ~hort d i s c u s s i o n on the use of fire to create thrust, many factors b e c o rn e apparent. The engine rn u s t be able to withstand the tremendous heat and pressure created. An ignition system is required, a nd for safety reasons the ignition s y s t e rr: must be r c rn o t e l y operated Remote operation may be easily accomplished by using a battery and several hundred feet of wire. The chemicals to be used in the rocket must contain a fuel and an oxidizer. If you are interested in making a rrio de l plane whi c h IS rocket p r o pe l l e d ,

the best idea is to buy a small rocket unit from your local hobby shop. These 5=a11 rocket units produce enough thrust to m ai nt a i n a model plane in flight and a r e very inexpensive. For any young rocketeer, it is advisable to buy one of the camrnercial units Just to b e c orn e accustomed to working with rockets and to get an idea of how a rocket operates. The rocket rn a y be attached to a s rn a l l toy racing car or to a rocket ship,

which I1lay be s u s pe nd c d on h o o k s a n d hllng o n a c l o t It e x lr rt e w i r c-: ,':.n)aJl cartridges of carbon d i o x i dc arc a l s o avai l a b l e , These: u m t s p r oduc o thrust when a soft metal seal at o nc end i s pu nc t u r ed The a dv a n t a g e "r

the carbon dioxide unit is thal then' is no fire h a z a r d The unit d o e s ,

however, become extremely cold during operation; so be careful when you handle the cartridge,


The next factor which influences the operation of a rocket is called aerodynamics, the science dealing with the forces that act on objects moving through the air, An airplane obtains lift, or an u pw a r d force, by the relative motion of air above and below the wings. The air passing around the wings creates an upward force, the engine drives Lhe plane forward, and the wings keep the plane aloft. In designing a rocket, you must dec ide whethe r you want the rocket to t r a v e I a path s i n i i l a r to that

of an airplane or to travel a curved path like that of a bullet or baseball The path traveled by an airplane is called a supported trajectory; that is, the airplane is supported oy lwi ng s. The path traveled by a bullet or baseball is called a ballistic trajectory, If you decide to make a baliistic-

type rocket, the aerodynamics problem will be greatly simplified, since there will be no large lifting wings--just a set oj three or four tail fins.

The pClrpo5e of the fins is to provide stability. They help reduce the tendency of the rocket to wobble or go end over end. As the rocket passes through the air, the fins tend to s t r a i g ht e n out the flight of the rocket, If the rocket wen' to turn slightly, the air would create a pressure d i f Ic r c nc c on the fin surfaces and the force of this pressure would push the rocket back into line. To determine whether or not yo ',11:' rocket will be stable,

find the center of gravity, or balance point, at which all weight seems to

be concentrated (fig 4) Be sure to do this both before and after, you

load propellants in the rocket. Then examine the tail surfaces to see if the approximate g e o rrre t r i c center of all the tail surfaces is to the rear of the center of gravity with the rocket both empty and loaded, The rocket will probably be stable if the center of pressure (center of all tail surfaces) is to the rear 'of the center of gravity.

CD Supporfed

I trojector~ ,

Fi$ure 3. Trajectories.




Ce nter of IIrO"ily or bclo nc s poinl

_:F:__;_i "g_:uc_:r",e::_4.:.:.._C=c::.' '::.',:t e r of g r a v i t y

~, Al i ne rn e nt Your rocket components, or body sections, n iu s t be very carefully a l i ne d The direction of thrust must be cx a c t ly along the centerline of the rocket (through the c ent e r of gravity) and parallel to the desired direction of motion, and all of the f i n s rn u s t b c pcriectly alined with the r o c k e t body, If not perfectly alined, the rocket will t u r n in an unkno';""n direction and may even turn fast enough lo break up or dive into the ground just aIter takeoff.

~ Forces, Two forces TC:liU'J the flight of a :'C~!;C: through the

a t.n io s phe r e The s e are the drag, or resistance, c r e a t e-d by the air a nd

the downward attraction of gravi!)' That lS, for your ro ck ct to rise into

the atmosphere, the thrust of the c ng i ue must c x c c c d l:1" weight of the

e n t i re rocket. The a m o u nt of drag i n cr e a s c s wi t l , t h e spc c d a t 'which t h c rocket travels. Other v c r y i rn po rt ant [ a c t o r s t ha t d.Uce t drag inc l ud e the cross- sectional area of the rocket as seen I r o n i t'le frunt, the a rn o u nt of s t r e a rn l i n i ng , and the a t rrio s p h e r i c conditions,






~, Const:-uction Proper dc s i g n of t h c r o c k c ; -v i l l n u n i m i z c urdg

through streamlining and t h r o u g h k'_'cping the c ro s s- s c c t i o n a l area at a

rn i rri rrrurn consistent w i t h propulsion r e q u i r c rn e n t s , 'l"l102 rocket should be as s l i rn as possible without being weak e no ug h to bend. Th e tail fins

should be made of thin metal (perhaps I; I G- i n c h steel DC 1/8- inch aluminum), Wood and paper tail surfaces wi l . r.o t ~l"nd up ""c1,'r t h c hibh ve l o c > i t i e s and forces that n o rrn a Lly occur during r o c k c ; <operation. The bases

of the fins should be bent 90· a rid can be fastened to t\u' body 0, rocket engine. The nose section is normally in tile shape of a co ne with an inter-

nal angle of about 30' The rocket can be rn a d e W;[:l a s e pa r a t.e body and

the other c o m po ne nt s r n o u nt e d on the body' However, considerable w c i g ht

can be e l i rri i n at e d if the nose cone and tail L,," a r c ru o un l ed d i r e c t l y on

the rocket engine; the rocket cngLnc p r o vi d e s the s t ru c t u r a I strength as well a s the c o rnb o s t i o n c h a rrib e r , Dut.h o f t h e s r- construction techniques will be discussed later




The energy to propel the rocket is obtained f r o rn materials which are caused to burn or undergo a chemical reaction with the release of energy. A propc rly de signed cham be r and nozzle conve r t the maximum amount of the energy released during combustion to a form of rne chani c al energy called kinetic energy or energy of motion. A very simple heat producing chemical reaction is the combustion of hydrogen (HZ) and oxygen (OZ) to form water plus heat. The reaction is--

2. HZ + 02.-2. HZ 0+ heat.

Likewise, the reaction between hundreds of other fuels and oxidizers releases heat. Another method of obtaining heat that is normally not thought of as combustion is the reaction between zinc (Zn) and sulfur (5) to form zinc sulfide:

Zn + 5-Zn.S + heat.

Other combinatiuns of chemicals p r o du c e heat during reaction. Some chemical combinations require the addition of heat for continuous reaction and, of course, would not rn e e t the requirements for propellants which must release energy to be usable in rockets.


The primary consideration [or large military Or scientific rockets is to obtain the maximum thrust for a minimum of weight. Although this

is a general consideration for any rocket, high thrust is normally sacrificed in small experimental rockets to permit o pe r at i on with propellants which are readily available at a low cost and are not too dangerous to handle. Some of the desired characteristics of experimental rocket propellants include the Io l Iow i np i

a. Nontoxic. The propellant should not give off poisonous fumes and should not be poisonous to the skin, since it is necessary to handle the propellant to fill the rocket motor.

b. Not highly flammabl\!. The propellant should not give off vapor s which could be acciden.tally ignited several feet from the rocket. It is also desirable that the p r op e Il a nt not burn well under atmospheric pre.~ sure. This helps prevent burning someone if the rocket rises, explodes, and"scatt~rs chunks of burning propellant about.


c. Not sensitive to ~"()ck. N .. r n i a l handllng of the p r o pe l l a nt during ; transporting, Elling the combustion chamber, or preparing ~he rocket forll firing should not c au s e detonation by shock. Unfortunately, no known practical propellants have all the desirable characteristics; t be r e Io r e , a I compromise must be made between zva.i l ab l e energ), and ease and saCety in handling. For example. a zinc and sulfur mixture is relatively insensitive to shock but burns rapidly at atmospheric pressure when loosely packed and is easily ignited by a spark.


To determine the quantity of each of the chemicals 10 usc for a particular combination, you rn u s t apply the laws of chemistry concerning bal- I a nc e d c he n u c a l equations, For <'Xampl<'. assume that you want to find the relative amounts of pure zinc powder and s u l Iu r required to produce a I complete reaction. The c h c rn i c a I formula [or zinc and sulfur to produce zinc sulfide is- ~

Zn + S ~ :lnS.

I\'ow, determine t h e formula weights of the chemicals used. weight equals the sum of the weights of the atoms indicated rn u l a. The atomic weight of Line is 65. 38; that of sulfur is atorn of zinc c crrib i n e s with one atom of s u l Iu r

The Io r rn u l a [ by the for- 32.07. One

F'o r rn u l a (or rn o l e c u Ia r ) weight = (riurnb e r of zinc atoms x a t o m i.; weight of zinc) + [riu rrib e r of sulfur atoms x a t o rn i c weight of sulfur);


Formula weight = II x 65,38) i (1 x 32.07) = Y7. 45. This relation is true'

regardless of the we i g ht.-un i t (pound, g r a m , k i l o g r arn ) that is used.

Thus, formula weight = 65.38 pounds of z i nc + 32.07 po und s of s u Ifu r 97.45 pounds,


For 1 pound of p r o pe l l a nt , divide the w e i g h t uf each chemical by the fur- 4 mula weight. 4

C t-

One pound of propellant ~ 65.38 pounds of z i nc t 32.07 po urid s of sulfur.

97.45 97.45

One pound of propc:j]ant = 0.67 ·pound of z i nc + 0.33 pound of sulfur.

For 8 pounds of propellant, multiply each pe r t of the equation by 8.

8(0.67 !b zinc) + 0(0.33 Ib sulfur) = i:l pou nd s of propellant. 5.36 pounds oi zinc + 2.6-1 puunds o~ su lfu r ~ S pounds of p r o pcl l a n t .•

Another way to express the r e l a t i v e amounts of cach propellant is by II

r a t i o, Divide the larger weight by the smaller weight, fi

I ~


I 65. 38 (Zn) t 3Z. 07 (S)

97.45 (ZnSI

65.38 (Zn) 3Z. 07 (5)

Z.04 (Zn)

1 (S)

Use Z. 04 parts zinc to 1 part sulfur (by weight).

It is difficult to determine the relative amounts of the various chemicals in propellants containing many elements; however, a chemistry tc~cher could help you determine the amounts in complicated mixtures.


The safest and usually the most efficient solid propellants are those made specifically for model rocket engine s , Contact a local hobby shop for information on commercial propellants or write the manufacturers. To design a rocket engine, it is necessary to obtain data on burning rate, de sired chamber pressure, effective exhaust velocity, burning temperature, and ratio of specific heats. With this information, the size and length of the nozzle and chamber can be computed, thus providing the maximum thrust without creating conditions which would rupture the engine. By simply packing propellant into a charnbe r not specifically designed for that propellant. there is danger of creating an explosive reaction or obtaining only a fraction of the available thrust. Ten pounds of, propellant in a properly de s i gne d system may cause the rocket to g_o

ZOo 000 feet high. Witn a pOorly designed engine. the rocket may travel only a few hundred feet hig~. For be st re sults from noncommercial propellants. study Infor rriat'ion On the previously discussed factors which afM fect thrust. Check the librlary for books written ZO to 30 years ago about experimental rockets. Du~.ng that time, many diffe~ent propellant corn» binations of simple compo ds and elements were t r i.e d , The propellants designed today are extrem 1y complex and are too difficult and danger-

ous to duplicate. !


The actual combustion o~ most propellants is extremely complex.

However. enough is known FO enable engineers to design workable systems. Ignition aud initial Goznbustion must usually be under presSUre; so a closed chamber is req\lired. A plastic insert or diaphragm can be placed in the nozzle. The ~gnition system creates heat which ignites the propellant. The resulting pressure buildup ruptures the insert. In the meantbne, the pressure buildup should be sufficient to sustain continuous combustion. If the propellant is a solid grain, the flame progresses in a direction perpendicular to the surface. The rate at which the flame progres ses is called burning rate. Knowledge of the burning rate at the particular chamber pressure expected is the most critical factor in the design of solid propellant rocket engines. Other factors Can be app r osd» mated without affecting the computations more than 50 percent.


!lowever, burning rate e r r-o r s could affect the thrust as much as I, 000 percent increase or decrease. The burning ·rate of propellants not compacted into solids is impossible to predict; so experience will have to be gained from trial and error methods.


The most commonly used method to compare .the performance of one rocket to that of another rocket is called specific impulse. This is a measure of the amount of thrust created per pound of propellant consumed each second. Specific impulse (Isp) is computed by the following equation. The unit of measure of specific impulse is a ec ond s , I

I "thrust in pounds

sp pounds burned per second

The higher the value, the bette r the propulsion system.


For a uniform reaction, it is usually nece ssary that the propellant be uniformly mixed and compacted. Some loose propellants burn so rapidly that an explosion results. The solid propellants must ,be !ine,ly powdered and then mixed thoroughly. A hand-operated, rotating cylinder (properly grounded to prevent a buildup of static electricity) provides fairly good mixing. A number of methods are available to increase the density of a particular grain. Some of these methods are mechanical or hydraulic press, hand tamping, use of a solvent, and vibration. Of , these four methods, the press and hand tamping were found to be par trc-

u.la r Iy unsatisfactory for zinc and sulfur. Zinc and sulfur are bO,th

soluble in alcohol. A puttylike mixture can be made and packed mto

the motor chamber with relative ease. If this method is used, a period

of several weeks is required to cure the grain. and more burning surface is required than is available with an end burning grain. The fastest and ~st satisfactory meth.od is that of. vibration. T~s Can be accomplished by hand. simply by a vrgo r ou s tappmg on the out s ide of the rocket chamber with a plastic hammer. II you have a vibrator-type electric sander, this may be held against the engine Wall. If the electric vibrator is used, it is essential that the end of the engine be closed with a plastic bag held in place with a rubber band and that the vibration be conducted in a

place where no res idual zinc and sulfur dust rem.a.ins in the air. FOr consistent results, it is necessary to compact to a known density. First determine the volume of the cham.ber, and th~n. using the desired density of the compacted propellant, determine the weight of propellant to add. Compact until that weight fills the charnbe r , The equations to use in the filling operations are as follows:


a , Volume. The volurne (Vall of a cylinder equals the cross se ct io na l area (A) Lime" '" length (L).

Vol = AL = 'Ii d2 L (;...U dimensions in either inches or feet.) 4

densi~ of a substance is the weight (w) divided by I

D I. ' h

en arty = wOlg t "W

volume Vol

i:l. Density., The 'the volume (Vol).

For example, the densit1, of water is 62.4 Ib s it3;

440 Ib s 7;


125 Ibs it3•

c. Weight. The weight of propellant to use equals the volmne times the density (D).

w" Vol x D

If density is in pounds per cubic foot, the volume must be in cubic feet, To convert cubic inches to cubi c feet divide by 1728. If the propellant density is unknown, compact as much as poasible into the chamber. Weigh the rocket "efore andiafter loading to determine the weight of propellant added. Using the~dimenSions of the chaznber, compute the volume in cubic feet. The d nsity equals the weight divided by the volurne , Record this infonnati n with the other data about the rocket. If this rocket is a success and you wish to build another rocket with an identical engine, the density could be repeated. Note, however, that the length of the combustion chatnber does not affect burning rate or thrust

, when end burning of a SOlid~rain is used. So in theory you could make the chamber longe'r or short r without affecting thrust. Also, it should be noted that the r e are cert in practical limits in combustion chamber length dictated by other can ide rations. Range is dependent On the amount of propellant used, <lind the amount of propellant used depends on the length of the cornbu s ti cn chamber.





A r o c ke t engine is a device for conve rting heat ener gy into kinetic energy. The solid propellants are ignited and burn, producing hot, high pressure gases in the combustion chamber. The function of the nozzle is to convert the random motion of th e s e turbulent gases into a directed motion to the rear of the rocket. The nozzle design has the most critical shape

and dimensions of all the rocket parts. The design is based on the De La.val nozzle (Iig 5J. The converging section of the nozzle causes the gas velocity to increase until sonic velocity is reached at the throat. The diverging section then acts to further increase the velocity. At the exit, velocities as Wgh as 2,000 feet per s e c on d are easily attained.

Combustion chamber

Figure 5. DeLaval nOl!;zle adapted for rocket engine.




Contrary to popular belief, the rocket does not produce thrust by pushing against the atmosphere. The th r-u s t (F) is obtained principally by in-

cr ea s irig the velocity (V) of the gases from a zero value inside the chamber t,o a high value, as the gases leave the exit. This is usually referred to as increasing the momentum of the gases. Momentum (M) is the quantity of motion and is m e as ur e d by the product of the mass (m) of the object and its vel o crty, The thrust equation can be developed by th e Iol lowiu g:

Force = (momentum at exit - momentum in chamber) time to move from chamber to exit

F = Inass x Vexit - mas., x Vchamber time


F ~xVe~WxVc

g g

:Where mass'" w.; weight

g g r avity V '0 velocity

But V c " 0 since the propellan~ is initially at rest in the chamber,

Therefore F - Wv - tg e

i s weight of propellant burned each second and is us ua l Iy noted -t.

where '!:!.

( !

Ihe term "Ve" r-e fe r s to exhaust ve lo c it y as well as

( :ithe I' term may be used ,Since both Fean the same,

(;ow be written~- I

F":!:.. Ve I

( g


exit velocity,

The equation may

One form of the equation for the theoretical exhaust velocity is--

( Ve =, I ~ R T [ (P) Il_~ 1_1

( V l! -1 c 1- -P: - 8 J

This introduces some terms which seem complex but are not too difficult ( .heri discussed separately.

( ( «

• (

( (

g gravitational constant = 32.2 It/sec2

!( (gamma) specific heat ratio

R = particular gas constant

Tc ~ chamber temperature in degrees Rankine (OR)

Pc " chamb~r pressure in pounds per square inch absolute (ps ia)

P e" exit Or exhaust pressure in psia

're term" b" (gamma) refers to the ratio of the specific heats of the pror-c l Ia nt; Specific heat is the amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of a <. .ib s t anc e 1° Fahrenheit. ' If, during the heating process, the gas is kept

constant pressure the specific hea~ is referred to as CP' the specific heat at constant pressure, Likewi s e] the term Cv is the specific heat at

( .m s t ant volwne or the condition whe r e a closed container of gas is heated. (-'l.e ratio of Cp to Cv is known as ~ (gamma). the specific heat ratio. The t e r m "R" is the particular gas constant and is found by dividing the univerl .1 gas constant R' by the molecular leight of the propellant:



ft-I b

R' ~1~5_4~4~ ~ __ ~n~10~le~,_·~R

Mw ~ Ib/mole

Molecular weight (or formula weight) is discussed in chapter 2; under

p r o pc l Iarit s and combustion. The average molecular weight of ZnS, the combustion product of our 2.04:1 z.inc-sulfur mixture, is 97.45 lb/mole. Thus, for ZnS,

R = 1544 = 1544

Mw 97.45

15,8 ~t~lo~ 15.8 ft/"R

Assuming that 2. 04 parts z i nc plus I part sulfur are used as propellants, the known factors arc--

1 ·1




a . Combustion temperature (Tel 3060 OR
b. Combustion pres sure (Pc) 1000 psia ~'{~
c. Specific heat ratio (H)~1.25
d. Molecular weight (Mw) = 97.45 Ib/mole
e. Particular gas constant (R) = 15. 8 ft/" R
f. Exhaust pressure (Pel = Patmos = 14.7 ps i a
g; Gravitational constant (g) = 32.,2. ft/sec 2 Vexhaust"

.../2 x 32.2. x 1. 25

l. 2. 5 -,Ix 15. 8 x 306 a x[ I _( 14. 7) 1000

1.25 - 1. 25


';'For values of

see table I.


v" ~ 2'.160 ft/sec. thc1idcal or \~"orctic,,"l ('xh.au"l. The effective c xhau st vo l oc it y or r.ha t portion of t h e exhaust wh.ich. create: s'thrusl in the forward direction is normally about 90 p e r ce nt of the calculated velocity. This correction is necessary because of the diverging: exhaust and be c a u s c of

Io s s e s due to friction. When z.i c and sulfur a r e used as propellants, an· other Ia ct or must be considered The heat of sublimation of z inc sulfide is approximately 2600· Rwhich me n s that. the exhaust p r od uc t s change !rom

a gas to a solid at this t e rnpc r a t re and the e xhau s t may no longer expand to increase the exhaust velocity For this reason, a total correction fa ctor of :;0 percent of the t he o r e t i a l exhaust ve Ioc i ty will be applied to oblain an effe ct ive exhaust v e l o c i t I' The effective exhaust velocity (Veff) then becomes:

Veff '" 0.50 Ve '" (29BO) (0.50)

1490 ft/sec

Table 1. Expansion Ratio Efficiency Factor s.

Values of

[ ti -1]

1- (:: )-1)

14. 7 ps i.a

Where Pc = Patmos

Values of ~

1. 15 1. 20 1.25 1.30 1. 40
bOO 0.384 0.460 0.523 0.574 D. 6:;5
700 0.396 0.474 0.539 0.590 0.671
800 0.407 0.486 0.551 0.602 0.683
900 0.4l6 0.495 0.561 0.612 0.693
1000 0.42.4 0.504 0.570 0.622 0.703
1100 0.431 0.511 0.578 0.630 0.711
1200 0.437 0.518 0.585 0.636 0.718
1300 0.442 0.526 0.591 0.643 0.724
1400 0.448 0.531 0.597 0.650 0.730 15. DESIGN PROBLEM 1

Problem: To design a rocket engine with the following cha r a c te r i s » tics:

Desired thrust (F) '" BOO! pounds.


'Burning time (tb! '" o. 5 re conds ,

Propellant'" 2..04 partslzinc. 1 part suliur.


Kn owrs Liclurs o n pr-o pel l a nt pvr Jo r ma ncn:

E'If e, live exhaust velocity (V) ~ 1-190 feet p e r second.

Chamber pressure (P cl '" 1000 psia

Chamber temperature (T cl = 3060' H

Molecular weight (Mw) = 97.45 lb. per mole

Sp e c i fi c heat ratio (~) '" 1.25

/'...1) - Ir 3 . ..(f.!:JfO UN1

Burning r a te (r) '" 90 in/sec == 2, 2.1'& 11r~0

Density (D) = 161 lb/ft3 or 0.0932 lb/in3

a. Propellants. The weight of the propellants (wpl requir ed can be found by using the thrust equation.

F " m Ve. where m = mas s of propellant burned per second

F = .J:._ V e, where Vi = weight of propellant burned per second g

F = i Ve, where wI' '" total weight of propellant and

\ g tb ;0 burning time

Sol.vi ng for wp,

wp = F tb g = 800 Ib s x 0.5 sec x 32. 2 ft/secZ

V 1490 ftlsec


Wp =- B. 641bs

wZ1'nc";'~: parts Zn 1 x 8.64 = 5. BO Ib s z inc

• . parts tota ~

w sul£ur"_l__.p_a...;r...;t_;S::.... _

3. 04 parts total

x 8.64" Z. 84 Ibs sulfur

w = weight of propellant burned per second and e qual s total weight

burning time

w = B. 64 tbs total O. 5 sec



b. flurning surface. The volume of propellant burned per second (vol prop pc r sec) e qual s the burning su r fac o area (S) times the burning rate (r) or

Vol prop per sec = Sr

The volume bu r n ed per second al s o equals the weight per second (..;..) divided by the density (D) or

Vol prop per sec" W iD

Equate the 5 e two ~ol ume equation s to find the burning su dace S.

8r ~ W



S" W

i rD

8 =117.28 Ib/sec

190 in/sec 0.0932 lb/in3



Grain size.

Assume end burning

Area = 8 = Ii diameter2 4

Grain diameter" d =~

1.62 inches

=V4(2.06) 'iT

Grain length = L = burning rate x burning time

L = 90 in/sec x 0.5 sec = 45 inches

d. Wall thickness (twl of combustion chaznber. For ah o r t burning time s, as sume a safety factor of 4 for working stre B s, This is actuaU y a temperature correction. For example, if low carbon steel (SAE lOla) has an ultimate tensile strength of 62, 400 pounds per square inch (p s i}, use 15,600 psi (62,400 -i- 4).

tw = Pc x radius allowable stress

1000 Ibs linZ x 0.81 in 15,6001bs/in2

~ = 0.0519 inches required.

! ,) v \ \ \, 'I.v I ,

Use 16-gauge steel tubin g (0. 0625 inch wall thickness) with I 3/4- inch O. D. and 1 5/8-inch r. D.


e. No"zle dimensions.

(1) Throat. The throat diameter can be calculated lrol"'l a thrust equation which involves a coefficient of force GF•

The coefficient CF can be rn e a su r-e d experimc:ntally or can be calculated.

The calculated value of CF can be taken from table II and for the value of chamber pressure of 1,000 psi and specific heat ratio 1. 2.5, CF = 1.57.

800 = O. 51 in2

(1.57) (1000)

D. 51 - 0.806 inch

Figure 6 shows three typical n oz z l e constructions,

(2) Exit area and diameter. To properly expand the gases to atmospheric pressure and, therefore, to the maximum ve iocrty, a particular size nozzle exit is required. From computations much too detailed to discuss here, a relationship between throat and exit areas is given in table III. Using a chamber pressure of I, 000 psi and specific heat ratio of 1.25 for zinc-sulfur, table HI yields a value of Ae = 8. Z from which we can deter-

mine that At

At has been computed as D. 51 in2

Ae = 8. 2 x 0.51 in 2 " 4. 1 B inZ

de =, I 2. Ae =, I~ (4. 18) " 2. 31 inches

V II V--rr



,- Steel
_" I" I-
"2 •
L, Fo~ward chamber

! plug

Braze all araund

Table II. Codflc,lcnt of Tluas!,

14.7 p s i a

Easiest to machine Haoviest weight

I. 15 1.20 I. 25 1. 30 1. 40 I
600 1. 55 1.52 1.50 1. 48 1.46
700 1.58 1.54 I 52 I. 50 1. 48
800 1. 60 I. 56 1. 54 I 5Z 1 50
'100 1 62 1 58 I 56 1 54 1 51
1000 1 63 1 5'1 1 57 1 55 I 52
1100 1. 64 1 60 I 58 I 56 1 53
1200 1.66 I 62 I 5'1 I 56 1 54
1300 1.67 1 63 1 60 1 57 1 54
1400 I 68 1 64 I 61 1 58 I 55 equn l ly spaced




Medium machining Medium weighl

Table III. Nozzle Area Expansion Ratio..:


Area ratio"~ Where Pe "Patrnos 14.7 psia

Difficull 10 machine Llqhte st weight




1. 15 1. 2. 1. 25 __ r_I_. 3 __ .__.l .. ~-
600 f--_6•8 6. 0 5.6 5.2 4.5
700--- 7.6 6.B 6.3 5.8 5.0
BOQ_ __ 6.8 - 5.4
B.4 7.6 6.4
900 9.2: 8.2. 7.4 -- I-- 6.8 5.8
000 10.0 8.8 8.2 _.2:..!__ -~
lOa 10.9 9.5 __ 8.7 7.9 6.]_
2.00 11. 6 ~_10. 2 9.3 8.4 7.0
300 1-. 12.4 10.8 9.8 8.9 7!L
400 -- _l__1_9.4 -
13.0 11.5 9.4 7.7 f. Engine dimensions (fig 7). Use 1 3J4-inch O. 0., I Jl6-inch thick tubing, 30· converging angle, and 15· diverging angle.


(2) Length of diverging section:

(I) Length of converging s e c ti o n:

Leon 1/2. (de - dt)

tan 3~'

1/2 (1.625 - 0.806) D.577

Leon" 0.71 in

L d'i v = lIZ (de - dt) tan 15'

Figure 6.

T"pical nozzle and plug constructions.


1/2 (2.31 - 0.8061 0.2(,8

2. 80 in

Note. Increase the computed lengths slightly to allow rounding of the thr~ preserve flow continuity without increasing the throat dimension.

Figure 7. Engine dirnens Ion.



_L 2.ElO"~

Question: With a given chamber diameter, what are the required noz;~le dimensions and the t'hr u s t produced? Assume the following piece of tubing

is available:

1/16-inch thick

2-inch outside qiarneter

1 7/8 -inch inside diameter low carbon ste el (5AE 1020)

4 feet long ['

Problem I


Design a rocket using zinc 'and sulfur propellants. The performance

factors for Zn + S (previou~ly omputed) are as follows:

Use 2.04 parts zinc to I

Molecular weight (Mw) 97,45 lbs per mole,

Combust::.on ternperatur9 (T c) = 3060' Rankine I

Specific heat ratio (H) = ,I. 25


Combustion pressure (Pcl = 1000 ps ia

Burning rate (rl = 90 inches pel" ae c

Density (D) = 161 Ibs!ft3 = 0.0932 Ib/in3

Particular gas constant (R) = _!_54~ = 1544 = 15.8 it/oR

M 97.45

Effective exhaust velocity (Ve) = 1490 it/sec

Thrust coefficient (CFI = 1. 57

Assume the grain will burn on the end only. The area then becomes 'i'fd2, or 5 = Tid2 = 7r'{ 1. 875)2 = 2.76 in2

4- -4 4

(1) The weight burned each second (VIp) equals the volume per second times the density. As p reviou s ly discussed, the volume of propellant burned each second equals the exposed burning area (5) Limes the burning rate ( r).

wp -= volilrne per second x density

Wp = 5 x r x D

wp = 2.76 in2 x 90 in/sec x: 0.0932 Ib!in3

Wp = 23. 15 lbs per second

. (2) The tubing available is 48 inches long. Assume 3 inches are re-

quired to mount tile nozzle and forward plug. The space available for propellant is 45 inches. T'he burning time may now be computed by dividing the length (LeI by the bu r n in g rate (rl.

- r

'" 0.5 sec

(3) The total weight of propellan.t (wpl equals the weight per second (":"p) times the burning time (tb) or,

Wp = 23.15 Ib s x 0.5 sec


wzinc "~:....2i..Ea:..:_:;_ __ ~ 11. 5f) Ib5 3.04 parts total

7,77 l b s

1 part

3.81 Ib s

11.58 lbs

3.04 parts total

c. Thrust.

Using the basic thrust equation, the thr u st can be computed as {01-

ow s :

F 23.15 x 1490 TIT

F " 1070 l bs

'l.t" F


dt" I 4 A '-J-- t 1T

0.682 in2


(T. 57) (1000)

I 4 x D. 682 = 0.932 in \J 1T-

Ae '" 8.2 At from ,!-rea ratio table

Ae = B. 2 (D. 682) " 5.59 in2

de" J~L" J4 x 5:.2.2

7T rr

2. 67 in

(I) Length of converging section:

=! (1.875 - 0.932) ----0:-577---

Leon" 0: 82 in



(':l Ll'n~th .• J-( Jive rf.~"i g b cetl ~.rl
I Ldiv ~ " (de - uti
Ian 15~
{2. 07 - o. 932)
I' O.26B
Ldiv '" 3.24 in
I Note. The lengths of the converging and di vo r giru; section" a r e only approximate. Actu a l Lc n grh s should be increased slightly to allow the throat to be rounded, thus preserving flow continuity without increasing the computed throat di arn e t e r ,





~ 1"--4~_~~~~~~~~~~~=_4~5~"_-_-_------t- 082'~ 3.24'~

~ 50.06" ---I

Fi"ure 8. Chamber and nuzzle.




') tr





Igrut ion of a rocket is a very critical operation. Improper ignition can easily cause a rocket to explode, For that reason, no one should be near the rocket during ignition, This means that a remote controlled ignition system is required. Although powder train fuse ignition is possible, it i s not recommended because of the uncertainty of its operation and because the chamber must normally be sealed during ignition. A satisfactory igr.ilion system can he easily made by using an electrical system. Electric current is used to heat wires around which loose propellant has been placed. Completing the electric circuit through a battery provides current to heat the loose propellant. The propellant burns, creating pressure and heat which ignites the rest of the propellant. A typical ignition system consists of an igniter inside the chamber, leads to a relay box to which the battery is connected, and a remote firing switch which actsvate s the relay to cause battery power to heat the igniter.

a. Igniter. The igniter can be made from a few turns of high resistance iron or steel wire. The wire resistance must be such that it glows and melts before the lead-in wires melt. The igniter effectively short circuits the battery when the UTe switch is operated so that a very high cu r r e nt

flows until the igniter melts. typical igniter is shown in figure 9c•

...--.J4,---- Solder igniter to leod-in '--ct---Seal with glue or cement _Diaphragm, 1/32" or 1/16" britlle plastic

wires from re 10 y

Figur e 9, Typical igniter.

b, Relay box. See figure 10. The relay box should provide two features, As its name implies, its primary function is to relay battery power to the i grnt e r at the proper ti m e, Of almost equal importance, however,

is the r e qu i r ern ent that the relay box shoul d be constructed to provide complete safety for the personnel who attach the igniter leads to the relay box. To assure maximum Current and voltage for the igniter, the relay


box mu at be within about 10 feet of the rocket. To prevent acci.dental ignition, a Bafety awi t c h anoul d be incorporated into the circuit to .hort ?ut the igniter circuit and to open the power ci r cuit, If the indicator bulb is on, the circuit ia a afe to connect. If all other operations a r e complete and the indicator light is on, the arm·Bafe switch ca.n be positioned to the unsafe or "arm" position. Then the fire switch can be used to energize the igniter. The capacitor is used to prevent arcing across the terminals of the firing switch when it is turned to the OFF position.


, •

_::, Firing panel. The firing panel (fig 10) is used to mount the firing' switch and to provide connectionB for the two wire cables.


. - 6-1001 heavy ~dutY wire

12v bulb

Fire Off


.5 MFD

Firin9 ponel

L __.--IO-foot heavy

dut~ wire

12- volt bottery

zoo-teet, 2-wire coble

Figure 10. Rocket ignition system.


A typical sequence of connecting the electrical. circuits and firing the rocket consists of the following steps:


a , Cln'cl, t ha t v-

(I) FIRE swi t c h is off.

(2:) SAFETY swi t c b is <1t SAFE.

(3) Ro c ke t igniter w i r e s arc wrapped together.


In s ta l] r e l .. y box approximately 10 feel from the launcber.

c. Connect ba n e r y to rd~y box,


Cb e ck that th e relay safely h;!ht is on.


Connect firing pa n e} to r e Ia v box.


Test ignition es ys t e rn :


Attach extra i gn it e rj o r c Ia y box. Place ARM-SAFE S~itch to ARM. Operate FIRE SWItch,

( 2)


(4) Igniter burns throug\l, (5) Turn FIRE switch o~, I

(u) Place ARM-SAFE swit c h [0 SAFE.

g. Attach leads to rocket igniter.

Ih. Warn all perso:lI1eI that rocket will be fired, (Everyone should be at east 200 feet from rocket and behind protective c cvc r . )

i , Operate FIRE switch.


When rocket ignites, turn FIRE switch off to prevent battery drain.







Every external part of the rocket will affect the night. All exposed su r « faces cause drag which slows down the rocket. However, some parts are required to help s ta bfl i z e the rocket and other parts are required to house the engine.


The 110se cone is designed to r e duc e drag by gradually dividing the air flow around the rocket. Nose cones are generally made at an angle of about 30· and are curved at the base to meet the cylindrical body s e ct i on , However, the design is not too critical and you may usc any angle you desire, but drag increases as the angle m c r e a s e s, Examples of no se cone a tt ac hm ent s and shapes are shown in figures 11 Q) and @

Hollow 'me tol

(Mollnt over cylinder)

Solid metal or wood (Se! in cylinder]

-_--~ g

___ ll


CD Nose cone olfachments


Secant or tangent ogive

Nose cone shapes

Figure 1 I, Examples of nose cones.

21. BODY

The rocket body is generally designed as a cylinder. Thi .. p r o vi de s a large internal vo lurn e compared to the surface exposed; so less surface m at e r i.al s are r e qui r e d, If the rocket i s rr avel mg directly into the wi nd,


lb' buoy c r rn t c s no a p pror.i.rbl c 0,."". I ~()w"vcr, If t lu: rocket t h r u vt i"

s l i uh tl v ()ffbd or if the t a i l su r Ia c c : 31'1' nul p r o pe r l y "lin<;,j, till" hudy dl,";, r r eat « drag as it ~{,,·s through II,,· a i r at an angl<', MaKing th" body c yl m-

d ri r "I and eliminating as rn a ny c xt r-r na.l a cc e s so r i e s a s po s s ibl c p r o vi de u

t h« rn i n i rn u rri drag. T'h e r c arc two major con s t r u c ti on mcrho d s used for

r h« burly. One method U"<:5 the external s u r Ia cr .. of the engine as t h e body (ftg 12), The nose cone and tail finl> arc fa s te ne d di r oct l y to the engine, In d["cl. the engine and body are the same unit. This is probably the simplest and lightest construction po s s i bl e,

Nozzle insert

~ L-I _En9_.ne _~::~I

"'" Tail fins ~

Figure 12. ~ngine and body as same unit.


T'he other method requires the construction of a cylindrical body into ":,h~cb the engine is inserted 1nd Ia s t e nc d (fig 13). The no e e section a,nd tall Ii n s are a l s o fastened to he body. Light sheet metal can b e rolled to form th" body.

( Engine

Figure 13. Engine and body as separate units.


The tail fins are normally made from s he et metal or al urn inurn, Wood and paper fins cannot withstand the forces normally p r e s e nt when the

r o ck e t is operating. From 3 to 6 tail fins can be u s ed, When attached to the rocket, they must be carefully alined in the direction of till' c ent er

l m c of the r o c ke t, 'lIhc fins c~ be Ia s t en e d with screws or banded to the











bc.dy (fil!, l5l. The !ins should I,.. bent at a right angle neal" tho ba s e to pr ovi dr- a fa s t c ni ng su dace, Norma lly 111 &- inch steel or 1/ B- inch aluminum are suitable for the fins. Tho tot al span from the tip of one fin to the ti~

of another should not exceed 200 times the thickness. Otherwise the fins will bend too easily and may begin vibrating and cause the rocket to break up or tumble. Various de signs are shown in figure 14,

Figure 14. Tail fin designs.


/ Clopped lip

~ 0.110 B0'1 mt o nozzle or en9lne e x t e n sr cr. but rloJt m t c combustion c ncmb e r


f o s t ene r

CDFin assembly detail



® R~{lg ever fcrwor d end of tad.

Brc.ze to lail.

@ Screw fosten end of teil to nozzle.

© 8raa strops between teil fm, 01 cpnrcximote rnidpoint if desired.

':g) "Strop method" to ovoid brazing 10 chamber or drilling holes except those to mount nozzle.





The rocket launcher is a device which supp o r t s the rocket and provides initial control by permitting it to rn ovc only in the desired direction. The simplest type of launcher is the pl atfo r m, The platform supports the

rn i s s il e and is constructed so that it may be oriented in azimuth (the horizontal plane). One di s advant.agc of this lype of launcher is that it does not constrain the movement of the missile in a particular direction; so Some type of initial guidance control is required within the rocket itself. Since most amateur rockets are not so guided, another type of launcher must be considered. The rail launcher is one which constrains the rocket during travel through a given distance. A 10-Ioot rail has sufficient length to allow the velocity of the rocket to increase to a point where the air pressure will keep the tail to the rear and the nose forward. The rail launcher may be oriented in both azimuth and elevation (vertical plane), The rocket should be launched at some angle from the vertical so that the rocket will not fall back on the firing position, To attempt an altitude record, the rocket may be fired at an angle of approximately 85' from the hor i aouta'l, To establish range or distance, the rocket should be fired at an angle of about 5 O' from the horizontal,


The launcher should provide adequate support with a rrururnurn of friction. A number of variations of the rail type launcher are discussed in a through c below.

a. Ring-aver-pole (fig 16), The ring-over-pole launcher uses two rings mounted on the rocket and slipped down ove l' a smooth steel pole, The pole must be fastened securely in a solid m.ount or driven deeply into the ground. The pole is inclined So from the vertical and should be as strong as possible to reduce bending and whipping as the rocket rises. A I-inch diarneter ring over a 3/4-inch steel pol e will usually provide suitable launching for smaller rockets,

b. Clip on rail (fl£J._"U. An adequate launcher can be made using a I x I x 1/4 inch angle iron Over which metal clips slide, The angle iron must be fastened to a piece of 2-inch pipe or other angle or channel iron for rigidity. This launching rail has the advantage of being easily constructed, has reasonably low friction, and is safe to use, since the rail can be reinforced enough to prevent bending when the rocket is in motion.

c. Slotted rail (fig 18). A slotted rail may be constructed by welding together 4 pieces of 3/4 x 3/4 x 1(8 inch angle iron, The standing legs of two of the ar.gles are welded back to back, fo r rn in g a channel for rigidity.


Ring- ove r - pole.



Clip .""==~

Fi~ure 17. Clip on rail.

The other two pieces of anlo:le iron are welded to the running legs of the angle 5 to form a slotted track. A ready-made ver sion Can be made from

a 10-foot piece of square "teel door track. Two bolts with rounded heads are screwed into the roCket. These hang from inside the track to suppOrt the rocket.

d. Launcher base (fig lq). A suitable base may be constructed from a 14-inch square piece of l/-l-inch. steel plate. Holes are drilled into each corller of the plate to reecho" steel holddown stakes, A trunnion bracket is



~. , pes 3/," X3/4" x ","

w- angle iron-IO' long ~R.ound headed


Figure 18, Slotted rail.

wel de d to the plate, and the rail is fastened to the bracket by means of a bolt. The elevation angle can be adju.sted by positioning the adjusting rod in a suitable hole and by taking up the fine a dju s tment with the turnbuckle. When the launching rail is properly positioned in a z imuth and elevation, the guy wires are securely fastened to maintain the direction during the rocket firing operation.

Figure 19. Launcher base,



UncI.' the r o ck e t launcher has b e cn c o n s t r u c t c d , t h e next p r c.hl crn i s

that of uri e ntation. The launcher may be! po i n t ed in the desired da r e c t i on by mean. of a compass. The corrrp a s s i s simply set up OVer the desired bunching poi nt, and a stake i s s e t out in the proper compass di r e c t i o n , Set the launcher over the point and sight the rail Oil the stake marking the d i r v c t i un, A simple el c va ti on quadrant may be constructed by using a

p r o t r a c t o r and a plumb line or level arm. Place the protractor i n position o n th e launcher rail and r a i s e or lower the rail until the plumb bob or level bubble is in coincidence. The launcher is then at the desired elevation angle.

Launcher rad_

Protractor orld plumb line

Figur e lo. Elevation quadrant.




2(,. GFl"EHAL

The r ewa r d [or the h cu r s of hard work r n qu i r ed to build a rocket is

r ea l i z e d a few seconds after tho, firing switch is op e r at e d , A wel l de,ig,,,,d and prope rly c on st r uct ed r o ck et should rise high int o the sky and follow an unwavering course, But does height actually p r e s e nt a true picture of th e performance of a rocket? And if not, what a r e the factors

wb i c h should be considered in evaluating the performance of a rocket and what equipment is available to help analyze performance? 0I1e ot he r point which must be considered is that "comparative" pe r Io r ma nc e evaluation is normally used. This means that rockets having similar construction and! propellants can be compared to each other to d e t e r rnirie which rocket actually used the propellant most efficiently. Then rockets of different construction and using different propellants can be compared to see which propellants and which designs attain the greatest altitude or distance for the least amount of propellant.


Preliminary tests are those which can be: performed before the rocket is actually fired into the air. By the use of static firings, firings in which the rocket is held in place. nearly all aspects of rocket design can be tested. and the results can be analyzed before the rocket is actually fired and perhaps lost or So badly damaged at impact that construction Or design defects may not De apparent. It could be argued th a t firing the rocket and determining its altitude or range is proof enough for a rocket design, yet only by chance could a newly organized rocket club anticipate all a s pe ct s of rocket design and obtain good results. During the initial work of a neW organization or any time a new design is made, a series of tests should be run to determine that each part works properly. Examples of preliminary tests include checking that an ignition circuit will energize the igniter, testing that the igniter will ignite the propellant, and testing that the nozzle diaphragm wi l l hold the flame and pressure long enough to permit good c orn bu s ti o n, Then tests can be run to insure that the nozzle and forward plug. are 's e cu r el y fastened, Since most amateur rocketeers belong to an organized club, the expenses of preliminary testing could be borne by the club so that the actual cost per individual would be low. For example, developing a suitable ignition system would benefit the entire organization, yet cost each member just a few pennies. Static firing stands can be constructed with very little material. A simple frame to hold a rocket upright would be suitable for firing the rocket when the nose is pointed downward (fig 21). However, for results which more closely approximate the conditions when a rocket is launched, the rocket should be pointed upward so that the jet exhaust is downward. In that case the thrust stand would have to be able to hold down a thrust of up to 1,000


Approximately 1/2" space to permll fastening he-down cable

2 pieces 2"X 4"


, .

\__ 12"X 12")( 1/4" steel plate with 3" section of 3" diameter pipe welded to plate

Figure 21. Static test stand A_


" Aprx 9'

Top view of upper support

Weld all a round 8"X 12"X 114" steel plate

:3 section 3" diameter pipe

Top view of lower support

Figure 22.

Static test stand B.


pounds, A structure anc ho r e d to 2 P0l'tB sitting about 3 feet decp and about 1 fool apart should be able to withstand I, 000 pounds of thrust (fig 22). Other preliminary testa include those conducted On parachute ejection

s y s terrrs , second stage ignition systems, electronic transmission e y stem a, and smoke ejection SYStC1T\S. The general idea behind all of these tests is to insure the proper operation of as much of the rockct as possible prior

to the time the rocket is actually launched. In this manner, considerable money can be saved and better result. are obtained, since the rocket can usually be fired again after it has been used to collect information during

a static firing,


a. General. Although the altitude and range attained in firing are normally considered the most important measures of performance, it is actually altitude or range per pound of propellant which is the better measure of periormance. The amount of conversion of chemical energy in the propellant to energy of motion of the rocket actually measures the effectiveness of the propulsion system.

b. Velocity. Although rocket velocity cannot be easily measured directly except by radar, a very simple physical law can be used. It has been observed, by tracking the flight of amateur rockets with radar, that the rocket follows the theo r e ti c al ballistic path very closely. For all practical purposes, the rocket is affected only by gravity, and the upward and downward velocities change according to the gravitational attraction. If an object is thrown or fired into the air, it rises for a certain period

of time and then falls for the same pe r i o d, During good weather and when no low clouds are near the firing site, it is possible to measure the flight time of a rocket with a stop watch by observing the rocket until it impacts.


. H'r

_~~-------Dlslance or rang e ------- ...... ~_

Figure 23. Ballistic path.


ThlO' I""': can be called If (time of flight). For one-half of this time the r(,ckd rues and then falls for the other hal I of the time (fig 23). It i8

e ... l"r Ir, discuss what happens to the rocket by considering the time it is fall illy'. At the very top of the, trajectory, the rocket cease s upward motion an"; b':gH's downward motion. IFor an instant, it has no velocity up or

down, Then it begins falling t~ the earth because of gravitational attraction. It .. ~I,o:,·d i n c r e a s e sr S'Z, 2 feet ~er second every second. At the end of I ~",.ulJd, it is falling at 32. 2 f~et per second: at the end of 2. seconds, 64.4 [" u L 1''' r s e corid: at the end of.l 0 seconds, 322 feet pe r second; and so on. JLH "..i.,<:ity d ownwa r d equahhe acceleration due to gravity times the

t irr.», 'Jf--

V T = gt,

a total time of flight of 40 seconds rises seconds. At impact the rocket velocity is--

where g = 3 .2 ft/sec2•

ThcT<:(o'C, a rocket which ha for 20 s e cond s and falls for 2


V r = gt = 32.2 ft/sec2 XI 2.0 sec,where t =...!i


V r = 6 .. 4 it/sec

For rockets which have a burning time of only I or 2 seconds, the velocity at burnout can be as surne d to be the velocity at impact. By simply measuring fli!:ht time, the burnout velocity can be easily computed and the results a r e very close to the true velocity as measured by radar.

c. Altitude. To determine the maximum altitude another basic equation it< used. The distance an object moves is equal to its average velocity multiplied by the time of motion, An object moving 30 miles per hour for

2 hou r e travels 60 miles. This rule can be applied to the rocket trajectory. The altitude equals the average velocity multiplied by the time the rocket

move s upward. The average velocity (V ) is one-half the sum of

average .

the velocity (V) at the top and that at the bottom, or--

Vaverage :< 0 + V r since the velocity at the top is zero for an 2

instant and the velocity at impact has been shown to be V r' The distance up or altitude (H) is--

!-l = Vaverage x time up

H = V r t, where t = tf

-2- T

or subatitutihg V = gt

H = !gt2., where t = _:t. 2




A rocket with a total time of flight of 40 seconds reaches a maximum al titude:

H tgt2 = t x 32.2 ft/sec2. x 2.0 see x 20 s e c

H = 6,440 feet

d. Velocity and altitude when fired at low angles. The above discus_ sion is suitable only fOT nearly vertical firings (above 70' launching angle). For rockets fired at about 50'. where the greatest range is attained,. the actual burnout velocity must be obtained by combining 2. velocities, that upward as obtained by the gr avi ty equations and that in range obtained by dividing the range or distance in fc e t by the time of flight. For example, a rocket fired at approximately 47' goe~ 13,500 feet and has a time of flight of 30 seconds. What is the maximum altitude and the burnout velocity?

From a1 titude

H = 3, 62. 3 fe et

The vertical velocity (Vv) can be found by--

Vv = gt, where t =~ 2.

V v = (32.2) (15) = 483 it] sec

The horizontal velocity (V h) e qual s the distance divided by time of flight.

V h :<_;d;;.;i:;:s..:t_..,.-,.,..,.-,-_ time of flight

13,500 ft 30 sec

= 450 it! sec

The rocket velocity (V r) is the geometric sum of th e two. A solution of a triangle with the velocities represented by the sides ma v be used.

-, r~I~71

483 ft/sec lZ__j

Vi-, == 450 ft/sec



By using the rheo r e rn of Pythagora&, the rocket velocity (V Tl may be found.

'" ";(483)2. + (450)2

= ";233,300 + 202.,500 " ;/435, 800 '

Vr", 660 ft/sec

or trigonometrically:

<r.:«: sin 4 7'

- 483 ft/ s"c 0.7314

660 ft/ser.

e , Fxhaust velocity. The next pe r Io r rn an c e factor which can be computed is exhaust velocity (Vel. It is important that the nozzle operated as in t ended, that is, it c r e at ed a s upc r s orn c exhaust, which for zinc-sulfur is about 1500 feet per second. The exhaust velocity Can be computed from an equation involving the rocket velocity and ratio of total weight to empty we i ght, The development pf this equation is too complex to discuss he r e but is shown in almost eve ry good rocket propulsion book. The exhaust velocity is designated Ve land i5--

'" Vr I , Where


In total we~1:!._ empty we tght

If it ha e been de te rrnm ed that a rocket had a velocity (V~) of 600 feet per second and weighed 16 pounds total and 8 pounds without propellant th,m--

In " natural logarithm

Ve " Vr

In total wei,[_ht empty weight

600 ftl sec --1~6---

In -8-

= 600 = 866 ii i sec 0.693

This equation provides an average effective exhaust velocity. During the first half of the burning, the rocket exhaust is usually greater than the second half; so at first the exhaust velocity was greater than that c ornpute d and then dropped to l e s e than that computed. However, only the ave r a g e exhaust ve l o c ity can be computed.


29. TllHUSI

The next major factor which ib computed io th r u s t, For these computatl on e , ant! othc r measurement is r e qui r e d, and that measurement i~ buj-rring time. Propellant burning time is easily obtained with an ordinary motion picture camera, The camera takes pictures at a c .. r ta in number of frames per s cc on d , usually 16 p<,r second for 8-mm cameras. Usc the

hi ghe s c speed on the camera to photograph the rocket during the entire burning period and count the number of frames on whi c h burning is shown. Divide the number counted by the film track speed. FDr example, if you count 48 frames and took the picture s at 64 frame s pe t: second, the burning time equals--

tb = 48 framros " 3/4 second.

64 frames/sec

The basic thrust equation is--

F = w -P-Ve tb g •

If 16. 1 pounds of propellant were used, tb

0.75 sec, and V e

900 «) sec

F = 16. 1

O. 75 x 32. 2

x 900

F 600 pounds.


T'he quantity used to determine the effectiveness of a propellant to produce thrust is called specific impube (I"p) and equals the thrust d i v i d» ed.by the weight of propellant burned each second.

I '" thrust sp

, where wt/sec = w

wtprop each second _.P_



16.l 3T4

Isp = 28 seconds.

It is desired that Isp be as large a s possible. For zinc and sulfur, the Isp is 92 seconds maximum but usually will run about 30 seconds. The e{fi. cieney, therefore, is only about 30 percent.



The> material presented in this book has been elementary to a limited area of rocket science; however, it should serve as an indication of the vast scope of the science involved in rocketry. The field of rocketry and space travel is more gene rally the field of all of the sciences. The ancient Chinese successfully built and fired rockets some '700 years ago. These Chinese established that a vehicle operating on the rocket principle would work. Finding,out what this principle was, explaining it, and organizing it into a body of useful information is a comparatively recent development and is, in fact, a main effort in the world today. Legend and historic record, illwninated by pre sent-day organized knowledge, reveal that many individuals throughout the years had great insight to rocketry and were e ithe rinea r the truth or at least headed in that direction.




There are probably many reasons for the great disparity of time be-

tween the question and tho;l answer, but lack of communication and organization certainly c cnt r'ibut.ed materially. The curious ones of past ages virtually worked on intellectual islands and the greatest barriers

to the solution of their pr b1em was the lack of information of previous cx pe r irn e nt s, Inrn ode r n iroBS we have learned to resolve our problems by a rn e thod of systelX}ati investigation known as the scientific method. In the scientific. method 0 studying a problem, the problem is divided into small segments. A articular part of the problem is studied by an expert in that field. His ontribution of a solution is not necessarily the final answer, for many ot ers have been studying the various aspects of the problem and have bee arriving at preliminary solutions. Now

come 5 the big problem. Will the sum of the parts equal the whole? Will the individual solutions now lead to the final desired result? This is where organization comes into the field. All of the preliminary solutions are weighed carefully by an organized group and their effects on e a ch other are measured, The individual solutions are a Ite r ed as necessary to have a final result which int.,grates the minor phases of the problem, and the final result is measured against the goal initially set. After a careful study of individual details arid an analysis of the relationship between parts, a solution for all aspects of the problem is obtained. So

in the study of a major problem, such as a rocket system, the rocket system is divided into as many separate parts as possible. Various methods or solutions for each part are obtained. Combinations of

the s e solutions are then studied as a group where the relationship betwe e n parts becomes more apparent. Notes or records of the studies are made so that the problem can be considered carefully. The final rocket is the result of many small contributions from people who learned


as much as they could about a particular problem. One pe r acri cannot become expert in all aspects of the system b\lt he c;r.n learn quite a lot

about one problem; SO the combination of individuals and their group thinking will lead to good results, results where everyone can feel he made a contribution.


The real value of your curiosity and interest II>~'" field of rocketry is that of motivation to learn basic scientific principles and to become fa=iliar with the scientific method of dealing with a problem. The best way to accomplish this is to organize into a society or club, under the sponsorship of your school and teachers. Your organization should inelude a. principal sponsor and advisers in the fields of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. In a.ddition to these faculty members, it is d e« sirable to have as many professional advisers as pos,sible from such fields as en,gineering, physics, chemistry, metallu.rgy, a.nd electronics, to name but a few.


Another consideration in favol'" of organization is one- of !inance. A single r ocket 2 inches in diameter and 4 feet long will cost about $35 loaded and ready to fire. The associated launching, propellant mixing, and ignition equipment will cost an additional 30 or 40 dollars. This means that an individual undertaking such a project would have a minimum outlay of 65 to 75 do l la r e, a sum well beyond the means of most school students. Much of the equipment, such. as the ignition system

and Iaunc he r-, can be made standard or common equipment and can be used many times. Finally, test equipment, such as stop watches, mov ie cameras, test stands, and other measuring devices needed to evaluate and give purpose to your work, will very likely not be available to you on any other basis than through an organized club or society. Organization is your ~ step.






I ,

It has been the policy in the preparation of this booklet to include gen-

eral precautionary notes throughout the text, Since the keynote and principal motivating factor in its preparation is that of safe ty, it is appropriate that the specific ha ards and precautionary measures be restated for emphasis, Reme ber, this may be a life or death matter tc the amateur rocketeer, to hi neighbors, and to the program itself. Specific areas of danger that ill be discussed are legal pitfalls, unqualified advisers, unknown ropellants, and rocket firing operations.



Most states and many municipalities have e nact ed legislation banning

th e manufacture, sale, and firing of fireworks by unlicensed persons, Rockets and rocket fuel are similar to fireworks in many respects; so it is important that you secure an interpretation of your local laws so that your activities can be conducted on a legal basis. When rockets are transported on state highways, they rnu s t be handled in accordance with state laws and those governing interstate commerce. It is best to consult the state highway patrol for additional information. When loaded rockets are transported on a military reservation. the igniter must be packaged separately. The transporting vehicle "must be clearly marked EXPLOSIVES on the front, rear, and sides. Each vehicle must be equipped with two fire extinguishers. A possibility of legal complication may be encountered because your rocket presents a hazard to air navigation, The rocket must be fired into airspace f r-orn which aircraft are restricted, or clearance must be obtained from the Civil Aeronautic s Authority. In any event, airspace is regulated and cannot be used indiscriminately.

A final and most important legal consideration is that of liability. Before entering into any type of arnat eu r rocket activity, group or individual, it is advisable to secure expert legal guidance concerning your responsibilities. Property damage, injury or death to stock, or injury to an uninvited spectator, while trespassing On your private firing range, could result in costly and unpleasant court action.


A number of the injuries and fatalitie s re sulting from amateur experimentation with fuels and rockets can be attributed directly to unqualified sup e rvi sor s. Few chemists, physicists, engineers, teachers, or others are qualified to supervise a rocket project in its entirety. Handling of propellants and firing of r oc ke't s require a very specialized knowledge and training. The only peopl~ qualified to supervise this aspect of a


rocket progranl are those civilian and military people engaged professionally in such activities.


a. The discussion of propellants in this booklet has been deliberately limited to the rnl c rog r aln propellants and, in this area, specifically to zinc and sulfur, The following rules are to be applied in the case of zinc and sulfur and are generally applicable to all explosive substance s:

(1) Handle and mix only under direct expert supervision.

(2) Ground all equipment used in mixing, loading, or handling of mixed propellants to guard against static electrical discharge.

(3) Allow no open flame s or sparks.

(4) Do not heat or cook.

(5) Do not grind or subject to compression or shock.

(6) Mix in the open air.

(7) Do not allow excessive micrograin dust to accumulate in the


(8) Allow only the minimwn essential people near propellant mixing and loading operations or near a loaded rocket.

(9) Handle as small a quantity of propellant as possible.

(10) Mix the propellants near launching site.

( 11) Do not load until ready to fire.

(12) Wear flame resistant protective clothing.

(13) Have fire-fighting, res cue, and first-aid equipment standing by during all propellant handling operations.

b. You are specifically advised that most other propellants are too dangerous to be handled by amateurs with amateur equipment, and you are enjoined not to consider the= for your rocket project.

(1) Chlorates and perchlorates should not be used by amateurs.

The most readily available chlorates, sodium chlorate and potas sium chlorate, explode so easily when rubbed, ground, or mixed that they are not even used in military or scientific rockets.


III PowdeTed metals, such as i r on, ma g ne s iurn, nickel. and aluminum, can produce an explosive mixture with air when pour-ed, f rorn one container to another or when shaken. The dust of some of these metals can ignite spontaneously when floating in air. When these metala a r e mixed with an oxidizer, they become sensitive to ahock.

(3) Nitroglycerine will detonat ... violently on slight shock and is also sen&itive to heat,

(4) NitroceUulose ca~ also explode when subjected to heat Or shock and bu rna easily in the opej' air when ignited,

(5) Metallic a odium, metallic potassiwn, and yellow phosphorus all ignite spontaneously wh n exposed to air,

(6) Liquid propellant~ generally present additional hazards, such as poisonous [woes, extre1e co r r os ion, and spontaneous ignition.


Firing of rockets should ,be confined to approved firing ranges and conducted unde r the supervision of qualified individuals. Firing procedures should be thought out and documented in advance of the firing, checked for safety by the experts, and then carefully followed. The ignition system should not be connected until ju at prior to firing. There should be a means of igniting the rocket electrically from a remote position, Firing leads should not be connected to the electrical source until it is desired to ignite the rocket. All persons participating should be inside suitable bunkers with overhead cover when the rocket is fired. The rocket should never be launched vertically or du r Ing a strong wind. The vertically fired rocket endanger 5 the launching site and winds may send it off on a completely unpredicted heading. In the event of a misfire, make three attempts to fire. Then if the propellant does not ignite, wait 30 minutes before !lPpl'oaching the rocket. Aiter a successful firing everyone should remain under cover until it is certain that the rocket has impacted.


Remember that the rocket hobby can be a life and death matter, Select a recommended safe propellant only. Design your r ocket with utmost care 50 that it will perform as expected. Static te st the rocket, when possible, prior to firing, observing the same precautions aa when firing, Then assemble the rocket, load the propellants, and connect the igniter at the launching site. Exp05e a minimum number of personnel to the loaded and armed rocket. It is only with extreme caution and great care that you can expect to have a successful and safe firing. Make your rocket project a gratifying experience, not a tragedy,




A IArea)--The surface extent of any figure, usually in square inches when part of an equation. To convert square feet to square inches multiply by 144.

Area of circle" II x. diameter squared. 4

Ae (Exit area)--The cross-sectional area of the rocket engine nozzle where the exhaust gases are released into the atrno sphe r e ,

At (Throat areal--The cross-sectional area of the nozzle at its smallest inner diameter,

Acceleration--The rate of increase in velocityi for example, Inc e e a aing velocity f'r orn 20 to 50 feet per second in 1 second is an acceleration of 30 feet per second per second.

Aerodyna=ics--The science concerned with the motion of air and other gases and the forces created,

Airfoil--Any surface designed to obtain a reaction from the atmosphere when in motion,

Ballistic--A type of trajectory described by the motion of any rocket, projectile, or other free-falling object after the propelling force has been removed and which results from the gravitational attraction,

Burnout-- The tiIne at which ccrnbus ti on in a rocket engine cease s,

CF (Thrust coefficientl-- Can be calculated or measured from result! obtained in static thrust stands,

C = F

F -Pc At

(me asured)

Pe - Pa



Note. Values of this equation for various specific heat ratios and cha~r pressures are given in table II.

CG (Center of gravityl--The central point in a rocket or other body at which all its weight appears to be concentrated. SUspension of a body at its center of gravity results in perfect balancing.


C (.';pecific heat at constant pressure in British thermal units (Btu»--

P The amount of heat r euui r ed to raise I pound of a substance 10 Fahrenheit while mainta.ining a constant pressure.

Cv (Spe c if i c heat at constant volume in British the r m a.l units (Btu)I-- .

The amount of heat r e qui r ed to raise I pound of a substance I' Fahrenheit while maintaining a constant volume;


d- -Di ame te r (inches I.


D (Density)--The weight of a 1ubstance per unit volwne (pounds per cubic foot).


o (Drag)- - The ae r odynam ic farce (in pounds) retarding the rn ct ion of an object through the atmosph reo

F {Thrust}--The prc!pulsive Io ce (in pound s ) created by a jet engine.

F "m v ; "wp Ve gtb

F = CF Pc ~

for ockets


Fin- -A fixed or adjustable airfoil attached to the body of a r ucket for the purpose of flight control or stability.

go-The acceleration due to gravity (32.2 feet per second per second).

~ (Gamma Iv-Ratto of specific heats.

I (bnpulseJ--The product of a force (in pounds) times the duration (in seconds) of that for~e. 1:0 force x tirrle

Isp (Specific impulse)--The ratio of the thrust produced by the weight of propellant consumed per second. A measure (in seconds) of the effectiveness of a propellant to produce thrust. It is desired that specific impulse be as high as possible.

)... (Lambda)--Mass ratio. total weight of rocket divided by weight without propellant.

Igniter--A device used to initiate propellant burning in a rocket engine combustion chamber.

L--Length (inches or feet).

Lc--Length of combustion chamber (inches).


Launcher--A device which su ppor t s and positions a rocket to permit mo verne nt in a desired d ir e ct i o n r1nrin:.; takeoff.

Lift--Th~ aerodynamic force on a body mc a sur e d pe r pe nd lc ul ar to the direction of motion. Lift is used to turn, stabilize, or support a rocket de pe nd in g on the location, share, and angle of a sur Iac e with respect to the rocket body.

m (MassJ--A measure of the quantity ot matter In an object.

m ~ wei"ht

gr avitational COnstant

'0'/ (lbH)

g (ftl sec2)

The unit of mass is sorrre t irnc s called a '·slug."

m (Mass flow rateJ--Propellant consumption rate in slugs per second.

M (Momentum)--A quantity of motion measured by the product of the mass of an object times its velocity.

M ~ mY

Mv (Mach nurnber)--The r at io of the speed of an object to the local speed of sound.

Mv speed of object speed of sound

Mw (Molecular weight)-- The total of the atomic weights of the component atoms of a molecule. expressed in pounds per mole.

Noz z le-o-A channel with changing cross section in which a gas velocity is increased. The DcLaval nozzle consists of a converging and a diverging se ct ion which increase s the gas velocity to a super sonic value.

Oxidizer--Any substance which reacts with another substance to support burning.

P (Pressure )-~The result of the impact of molecules on their surroundings, measured as a force per unit area such as pounds per square inch absolute [p a ia.] or pounds per square inch gage (psig).

Payload--The equipment carried by the rocket which performs ~o function in relation to the flight such as a smoke flare or tr anemttte r ,

R--Gas constant for a particular gas, it/OR.

R " R univer sal

molecular weight of gas

IS44 Mw



5 [Sv.r Ia c e area)--Sql!ar<' f(·(·t tr sqll,,-r,' 111<1", •.

Son i c c v The speed of s ou nd , the rate at which a pressure d i s t u r bu nc rpasses through a rn e d i urn , . n the atmosp!-.ere t hc- s pc-e d of sound .,quals

In any

V sound =,49. I -J iemp in de g ~as the speed of sou~r e qu al s Vsound = ,j I:!gRT. I


T--Tcrr.perature, usually in degrees Rankine when part of an equation.

The terr:perature in degrees Rankine equals the temperature in degree~ Fahrenheit +459°.

Vol--Vobme (cubic feet or cubic inches).

Vol um e of cylinder = length x cross-sectional area.

V --Velocity (feet per second).


wp--Weight of propellant.

';_'--Propellant c onaumpt ion rate i r, pounds per second.


a t rno s= v Ai r or atmosphere, such. as Patmas (atmosph.eric pressure).

c--Chamber, such as Ac [cross-sectional area of chamber).


e--Exit or exhaust, such as Te!(temperature of exhaust).

F--Th.rust, the propulsive forc~ created by a jet engine. such as CF (thrust coefficient).

t--Throat. such as Vt (vdocity at throat).

L. asas ARMy-FT. SILL, OKLA.


. .