Hybrids 2021

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cwbullet

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It is unfortunate that hybrids are being flown less and less at many clubs.
 

Rocketjunkie

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It is unfortunate that hybrids are being flown less and less at many clubs.
It doesn't surprise me. Look at all the fiddling last weekend resulting in a no go. Then add in all the GSE required which I don't know of any club that supplies it as a routine part of setup.
 

cwbullet

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It doesn't surprise me. Look at all the fiddling last weekend resulting in a no go. Then add in all the GSE required which I don't know of any club that supplies it as a routine part of setup.
Very true.
 

jderimig

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If someone can't get a fill at the pad off faster than a solid then they need to learn more.
 

AeroTech

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I think you had that motor at LDRS or Airfest one year on display. I remember seeing the 38mm with 54 tank somewhere. I still think a small prefilled hybrid would be a good educational motor. Might not be a high profit motor but good for students.
C2131835-B416-4441-A75F-390C634AD7E6.jpeg
 

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Wilson FX at one time at hybrids as an option on their boxes. It appears that it is returning.
 

Voyager1

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Wilson FX at one time at hybrids as an option on their boxes. It appears that it is returning.
Yes, I had seen some earlier controller boxes that had hybrid fill and dump switches. Unfortunately, their new website is not really operational yet, as far as I can see. I have checked out the http://wilsonfx.com/ site, but there doesn’t appear to be anything other than a placeholder. If anyone has any information about their current hybrid capabilities I like to know about it.
 
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ContrailRockets

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Yes, I had seen some earlier controller boxes that had hybrid fill and dump switches. Unfortunately, their new website is not really operational yet, as far as I can see. I have checked out the http://wilsonfx.com/ site, but there doesn’t appear to be anything other than a placeholder. If anyone has any information about their current hybrid capabilities I like to know about it.
System was sent to me to test operation with the new Contrail Fast Fill solenoid valve as well as to confirm that the launch circuit would be able to initiate the resistors used used in the 12 volt igniter. Each of the two launch circuits was able to initiate seven igniters. The O-6300 has seven injectors each having two Pyrodex Pellets and two igniters. The Wilson FX handled the task using a 20 amp relay on each fire circuit. In addition I performed transmission testing to ensure communication over extended distances. The Wilson FX was able to respond to the Fill, Purge and Fire commands on one or both Fire circuits at one then two then three miles away.
The Contrail Rockets wired GSE is designed with a single Fire circuit and field tested at 1000 feet using 10 100 foot 16-3 electric cords.
I have performed resistance bench testing to simulating the use of single strand copper phone/computer wire to one mile. While the Contrail Rockets GSE will function on lighter wire over longer distances the potential of wire damage increases plus who wants to buy and store a mile long communication cable.
UL rated cords are a reliable way to transmit power whether it is 120 volts AC or 12 volts DC. The Wilson FX uses just that in 25 foot lengths for Fire circuits. I followed by color coding the 25 foot Fill and Purge lines. White shrink tube on the Contrail Fast Fill solenoid valve and a white cord cap plus four inches of self fusing white silicone tape on the electric cord. The same but in black was done for the purge valve. NOS appears white when seen venting as a liquid on pad filled motors so the colors made sense to me.

15 years ago made the Contrail GSE as a reliable way to initiate resistors initially at 24 volts then 5 years ago I introduced the 12 volt resistor igniter and the 12 volt Contrail GSE. Both systems use 16-3 electric cords from the hand controller to the pad.

The Wilson FX eliminates the cord with a solid well packaged system. The Pelican cases are a great addition in protecting your investment.
This system checks all the boxes when looking for high quality and functional hybrid launch controller with continuity testing visual and audible warnings at the pad. The visual arming light at the controller is outstanding. Both controller and pad have LED indicators for communication and db signal strength. Wilson FX is the best hybrid controller I have seen and a “solid” investment for controlling your hybrid launch.
2145FC15-C263-4357-AC3F-899F058DA743.jpeg
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Voyager1

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Excellent! Thank you so much for that information. That is exactly what I’m looking for to replace my home brew wired hybrid launch controller. With a system like that and your great 38, 54 and 75 mm Contrail motors that I have, I’ll be set.
 

RocketRev

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Wow Tom thanks for your timely and kind works about the Wilson F/X hybrid control system you tested.

Just a couple of items to add to Tom's description. First off, at Black Rock, the standard WFX wireless system will only reach about 5000 feet. Most places 3 miles line of sight is about it. But please remember that "line-of sight" does not include going thru hills or trees or cactus groves.

Secondly, I thought that I'd expand on what Chuck mentioned, WFX has had Hybrid capabilities from our first 64-pad controller about 20 years ago. However, nobody bought a hybrid pad-box for a long time so the capability sat unused. However, after that long hiatus, we've got a few hybrid controls systems with clubs and college/university teams out there doing well.

The LCU-4 (hard-wired) and the LCU-4w (wireless) controllers simply turn on whichever circuit that the flier wants turned on. So, the difference between both the ignition circuits and the fill and purge circuits are not changed in the controller itself other than labeling. The changes that make it a "hybrid" control system are in the pad-box itself. Let's think about the standard hybrid pad-box.

A standard hybrid system pad-box uses a PBU-4 (hardwired) four-pad pad-box or a PBU-4w (wireless) for the physical architecture of the pad-box allowing the four relays to control four separate functions. The four circuit functions in a hybrid pad-box are: are #1 = ignition, #2 = second ignition, #3 = fill (standard green 16/3 wire), and #4 = purge (with standard blue 16/3 wire). The programming of the Hybrid PBU-4 changes the third and fourth relays to Fill and Purge controls. This means that when the LCU-4 controller "arms" the fill or purge circuit, that circuit turns on. In the two ignition circuits of a hybrid PBU-4w pad box, the ignition circuits only arm the circuit. The fire switch must be pressed in order to activate the circuit and fire the motor. But in the Fill and the Purge circuits, the programming has been changed so that when the circuit it armed by the controller, the circuit goes ACTIVE and starts to either Fill or Purge, depending obviously on which circuit is activated. So it’s just a matter of which circuit is programmed to which function. That's the standard hybrid pad-box. And just to make it clear, the fill and purge hybid control circuits must NOT be used to lite motors. It’s a safety thing.

There is no operational difference between hardwired and wireless. The functional difference is obviously that a hardwired system’s communications between the controller and the pad-box, must be hardwired. A wireless system functions wirelessly with Xbee 900HP transceivers that have ¼ watt power rating and will function out to 5000 feet line of sight without any problems.

We can also produce special order pad-boxes and controllers for those wanting something special in the world of hybrid systems. So far, we have produced two custom systems. The first was a standard system that only had one ignition circuit and three hybrid control circuits. Same price as the standard hybrid system. The second custom system was for a university working with bi-propellant motors that I won’t get into the details unless somebody is really interested.

The standard NEMA enclosure Hybrid system sells for $725.
In Pelican cases like the pictures Tom posted, it sells for $995.

Anything else that I need to expand on?

contact me direct at rocketrev@wilsonfx.com

Brad
 

kramer714

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Brad,

I do like that your have the remote box push buttons for fill and purge. My 'standard procedure' is to hook up the nitrous, and give a quick less than a second 'burp' of nitrous. Just egnough to get a little pressure in the motor. I then check to see if there is gas coming out of the vent (there should be), and see if there is any gas coming out of the nozzle (there shouldn't be), or if there are any leaks at the tank hose to fill line connection. Once it checks out I retreat to a safe distance for the 'real fill' . The pad box buttons make this easy to do.

Something to think about if you are building your own system too.
 

jbrracer

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Does anyone around the Midwest have all the GSE for hypertek? I’m willing to drive where you normally launch and pay for gas/ox used. I would also need help setting up launching ect. Free lunch included?
Thanks guys
 

drewnickel

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Successful L3 certification on a Contrail M1491 using new “Ring of Fire” igniters developed as a collaboration with UT Knoxville and Contrail Rockets. $105 M reload including nitrous, and instant ignition 👍
 

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drewnickel

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I think the prefilled tank type hybrids would have a chance to become popular. Most club launches are just not set up for hybrid flyers who need extra time to get rocket ready rocket for fireing.
Most of the setup time comes down to GSE. If a club has several people launching hybrids, the GSE can be set up prior to the launch and can normally double as a back up for solid GSE. The increase in time on the pad is negligible for smaller hybrids (L impulse and below). For something like an O motor, it may take 10 to 20 minutes to fill with a Pratt BFV.
 

ContrailRockets

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Most of the setup time comes down to GSE. If a club has several people launching hybrids, the GSE can be set up prior to the launch and can normally double as a back up for solid GSE. The increase in time on the pad is negligible for smaller hybrids (L impulse and below). For something like an O motor, it may take 10 to 20 minutes to fill with a Pratt BFV.
The new continuous duty Contrail Fast Fill solenoid valve has a .375 orfice versus the BFV .120 orfice. This means faster fill times and the restriction is the cylinder valve not the solenoid valve.
 

ericm541

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Successful L3 certification on a Contrail M1491 using new “Ring of Fire” igniters developed as a collaboration with UT Knoxville and Contrail Rockets. $105 M reload including nitrous, and instant ignition 👍
I'm interested in knowing more about faster ignition, my last 3 flights seem to take awhile to ignite, they were 2 J and an H. And congrats!
 
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ContrailRockets

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With the introduction of the CNVA which produces a hollow cone vortex in the NOS injectors that rotates at about 1200 rpm a higher temperature ignition became necessary.
I initially returned to red iron Thermite as used in the Contrail hybrid motors certified in 2005. Working in collaboration with the University of Tennesee a safe stable shippable formula of copper Thermite. While UT was applying this to the fuel grain I looked at a method to move the ignition above the injector and the aggressive flow of the CNVA. Contrail Rockets is calling this composition and process the used the “Ring of Fire”. The cup and composition fit inside the CNVA injector baffle and include a hole that allows the internal vent to exit the motor thru the combustion chamber. The copper oxide in the composition lowers the disassociation temperature of nitrous oxide enhancing ignition of the motor. Twin igniters are used thus a primary and backup igniter are installed during motor assembly. Using resistor igniters or shunted e-matches in an inert motor waiting for the oxidizer to be loaded at the pad is safer then the ejection charges installed during rocket assembly. Here is a picture of the “Ring of Fire” being assembled in a 54mm 20 inch Motor. This motor has yet to be tested by TMT. Properly assembled this ignition method ensures that when you fill your hybrid motor you launch your hybrid rocket.
A47B14CD-D07A-4CCD-8E2B-B157B4F4A400.jpeg
C66CECCD-1909-43D6-968F-2CE0C26D9651.jpeg
 

DRAGON64

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Are you planning to implement something similar for the 98mm line up?
 

ericm541

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With the introduction of the CNVA which produces a hollow cone vortex in the NOS injectors that rotates at about 1200 rpm a higher temperature ignition became necessary.
I initially returned to red iron Thermite as used in the Contrail hybrid motors certified in 2005. Working in collaboration with the University of Tennesee a safe stable shippable formula of copper Thermite. While UT was applying this to the fuel grain I looked at a method to move the ignition above the injector and the aggressive flow of the CNVA. Contrail Rockets is calling this composition and process the used the “Ring of Fire”. The cup and composition fit inside the CNVA injector baffle and include a hole that allows the internal vent to exit the motor thru the combustion chamber. The copper oxide in the composition lowers the disassociation temperature of nitrous oxide enhancing ignition of the motor. Twin igniters are used thus a primary and backup igniter are installed during motor assembly. Using resistor igniters or shunted e-matches in an inert motor waiting for the oxidizer to be loaded at the pad is safer then the ejection charges installed during rocket assembly. Here is a picture of the “Ring of Fire” being assembled in a 54mm 20 inch Motor. This motor has yet to be tested by TMT. Properly assembled this ignition method ensures that when you fill your hybrid motor you launch your hybrid rocket.View attachment 465597View attachment 465599

That is very cool, any idea on cost and will it be available for standard contrail injectors? Is it the 54MM that needs TMT testing or all loads?
 

ContrailRockets

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The shortest 54mm was 28 inches with 530 cc NOS. The 20 inch motor has 600 cc NOS. The internal CNVA injector baffle is designed to be interchangeable in all 54 mm motors.
Due to the increased performance of the improvements each motor in each speed will require certification. I am starting with the 54mm 20 and 28 inch motors. I do have an 11.25 inch long 54mm I motor that I have test fired with 250cc on NOS. Just to see how short a hybrid motor I could make.
 

ericm541

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I'll be following, seems to me you always have something new cooking, i'm only a year into hybrids as cool as the 38MM line is they never perform the way I think they will. so "ring of fire " not TMT tested, did someone do an L3 with an uncertified motor 🤔.
 

ContrailRockets

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Original M-1491 was certified using iron Thermite and then Re-certified using Pyrodex Pellets. As ignition is not part of the motors flight iron Thermite or copper Thermite are not part of thrust during flight.
The Copper Thermite Ring of Fire ignition is an alternative to Pyrodex Pellets.

International customers who do not have access to Pyrodex Pellets have been using manufacturer endorsed alternatives for years.

When you add a sliver of Blue Thunder or other aggressive ignition methods is your AP motor is it a decertified motor or flight? I am glad that my flyers consultant me on alternative methods.
 

ericm541

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Thank you for the explanation, great information.
 

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