So here goes my second attempt at this thread.. hehe... I posted it a few hours ago, but it was removed because of content. I've removed the
offending statement and am hoping now I can get the feedback I'm hoping for!!
Hello again ATS! I would like to share my story with you today and in the process, hopefully generate some interest in my project. I would ask
anyone and everyone who cares to get involved to send me input on this subject (if you don’t mind that is), mostly because I’m entering the stage
of my project where I can no longer continue on my own effort….
So here’s some background…
On July 15 1998 while on my lunch break, I decided I was going to build my own rocket and blast myself off into orbit. Kind of a crazy thing to just
decide over chicken soup, but hey, we all need to do something with our lives… At the time, I was working in a Matchbook factory and I think being
around highly explosive chemicals all day was what first inspired me. On that fateful day, I finished my lunch, went downstairs, and built my first
ever rocket engine. It was just two pepsi cans cut in half, filled with match heads, and tapped together with duct tape. I punched a hole in the
base with my knife, lit the fuse, and my first ever homemade rocket flew up and up and up! It went a whole 8 feet in the air! At that moment I
realized, the basics of rocketry are pretty straight forward… How little I knew…
I spent about 4 weeks putting together a proposal for my boss, I suggested to him that with the chemicals we used in match making, we could make solid
fuel rocket boosters. Unfortunately for me the boss was a jerk and stopped me after 3 minutes into my presentation. He basicly told me that he was
convinced I would use the chemicals for more illicit purposes and wouldn't even hear me out. This broke my heart because up until that moment, I
looked up to this guy.
We had a physical confrontation….and I quit, after pocketing a few grams of fuel and oxidizer.
I went home and got to work…
Within a month, I came up with an extremely energetic mixture and packed it into a 1/16 inch diameter brass tube, 2 cm long. I put the tube on the
pad and lit the fuse. It exploded… When mixing the next batch, I found out the hard way that my mixture was WAY too sensitive. It exploded while
I was mixing it. No harm done though, I knew enough at the time to only mix in small quantities…
after almost killing myself and burning down my garage, I concluded that perhaps solid fuel was the wrong way to go. So I started experiments with
Many years passed, and I wasn’t getting any closer…
Then, about 3 years ago, I was watching Mythbusters and they were doing the confederate rocket myth. They said that the confederate rocket used wax
as the fuel, and NOX for the oxidiser. So I started experimenting with wax…
My first super energetic mixture came when I melted a 1 oz block of white candle wax and mixed in 1 fl/oz of kerosene. When it cools, it has the
consistency of butter, and when oxidised with atmosphere (compressed air; 100psi, 65 cfm) it burns at over 3000 deg/f (my thermometer only goes to
At this time, I had an armada of test engines at my disposal. Just simple combustion chambers built from spent propane torch bottles. They are all
designed similarly to pulse-jets only they won’t sustain the pulse detonation cycle on their own. My jets are effectively just compressed air jets.
I only built them in order to test the stability of my fuel and to test my fuel delivery system…
Over the past 3 years, I’ve refined my fuel mixture and have come up with an extremely powerful mixture, and just the other day while testing it, I
was able to produce my first shock diamond! This picture shows the shock diamond forming and I’m just using compressed air! I can only imagine how
much power this stuff would make with NOX or even better, LOX!
Now it’s worth noting that the test engine cannot make thrust. Well, it makes negligible thrust. The test engine in my picture can only punch out
1/3 lbs of thrust, but I wasn’t testing thrust, I was looking for exhaust velocity. My most powerful test engine can 3 lbs thrust without a nozzle,
12 lbs with. But it's too scary to stand next to while it's running!!!
So now I’m at the point in my little adventure where I’m ready to build my first prototype engine.
The craft I’m looking to build will have 3 sources of propulsion. As I was figuring out my fuel mixture, I was also working on engine designs.
When I first started using wax, I had decided that for inter-atmospheric flight I would use pulsejets for subsonic and a ram jet for supersonic. Once
leaving the atmosphere, fire the rocket. While researching pulse-jets, I came across plans for the Gluhareff pressure jet.
Gluhareff Pressure jet - tipjet.com...
After learning how it ran, I decided it would be a better engine than a pulse jet as it would interface with my fuel better. I say this, because the
Gluey pressure jet uses heat from combustion to pressurize the fuel which works out really great since that’s how I pressurize my fuel…
Jeepers, I have a lot more info that I want to share, but at the same time I don’t want to bore you. So I’ll wrap it up...
I'm not smart enough to park a rocket into orbit, I really need someone to help me learn the finer points of orbital mechanics. I also am at a loss
for making inexpensive heat shields, so any input there would be great. I also need help with aerodynamics. If anyone here can lend a hand in any
way on this, I would appreciate it. I can't pay you, but if I pull this off I'll definetly share my success with any and all who have given me
Most of my friends think I’ve lost my mind. I’m sure a lot of people here might think I’ve lost my mind, and I don’t care. I’m going into
outer-space from my backyard in a spacecraft I’m planning on building out of scrap… But mark my words, I WILL be the first backyard astronaut.
Probly gonna die trying tho… oh well, these things happen…
This is my first post on the subject. I intend on keeping you all informed of my progress, assuming of course theres any intrest in this...