Legality of flying a self-developed Hybrid Rocket motor

Frost TM

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I am a university student who has been doing research and development on a Hybrid Rocket system based on ABS/Paraffin fuel. We have been doing static fire tests on the research side, but what exactly are the legalities of taking a hybrid motor platform that I created and flying it in a home built rocket? Outside of the academic environment, I would love to personally integrate our rocket motor into a rocket and fly it (This is assuming that I "own" the rocket motor design and that it is not a matter of academic propery). I understand there are issues in making solid fuels that are Inherently explosive, but what about Hybrids where the fuel is Inert and the oxydizers are available and not illegal?
 

Voyager1

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The hybrid motor still requires formal certification to be used at a normal HPR club launch. Without certification, the motor can only be used at a dedicated experimental launch. You do need to be HPR certified to use these motors. Contact your local club for advice and also FAR (Friends of Amateur Rocketry) at https://friendsofamateurrocketry.org/
 
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What is legal? This is an age old question and applies not just to rocketry but to everything we do.
You need to understand all the club, local, state, national and international regulations. Some regulations will specifically tell you what you need to do to be compliant. Some will simply tell you what is not compliant.
If it's not specifically mandated or not specifically prohibited, it's permitted. (generally) There are also some laws that say if you know something is wrong and you do nothing then you are also guilty. So you also have to consider if what you are doing passes the pub test.
It's easier to get a mentor who has worked with others to go through these minefields to guide you in the right direction. That way you'll avoid repeating others mistakes.
Experimental launches can only be done as a Tripoli L2 flyer at a Tripoli experimental launch. This covers experimental solid propellants and hybrids that use Nitrous Oxide and a solid fuel. There was a RattWorks tribrid motor that used alcohol. I know that did fly but not sure of if it was a special permitted launch.

You can apply to the Tripoli BOD for special permission.

However I would suggest that for anything non standard that FAR (Friends of Amateur Rocketry) as suggested, was a better contact point.

Good luck.
Norm
 

Donnager

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The hybrid motor still requires formal certification to be used at a normal HPR club launch. Without certification, the motor can only be used at a dedicated experimental launch. You do need to be HPR certified to use these motors. Contact your local club for advice and also FAR (Friends of Amateur Rocketry) at https://friendsofamateurrocketry.org/

I think you need a TRA Level 2 or 3 certification for running research motors at a Tripoli research launch.
 
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Find a local mentor to comply with TRA rules and local laws. What country are you in?
100% concur. The easiest way to get started is find a local TRA prefect and work with them. Someone there should be knowledgable enough to help you out. If you are lucky, the club may even have a test stand where you can do a static burn and collect thrust and pressure data.

FYI, most EX rocket motors flown at TRA launches are AP based, which is not illegal or prohibited. You can purchase it commercially, but there is a minimum level of skill involved to successfully manufacture it. To fly at TRA research launches, you'll need to be L2 certified. I definitely recommend finding a mentor who can show you the ropes before trying this. Be skeptical of any instructions you find on the internet or YouTube. Real experience and knowledge of theory is best.

Here is the TRA Research Safety Code:

[URL https://tripoli.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=795696&module_id=494857[/URL]
 
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FredA

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Get your TRA L2 and find a launch that supports research activity.
Beyond that, you need to get past the RSO and you should be fine.
Good luck - tell us how it goes, please.
 
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100% concur. The easiest way to get started is find a local TRA prefect and work with them. Someone there should be knowledgable enough to help you out. If you are lucky, the club may even have a test stand where you can do a static burn and collect thrust and pressure data.

FYI, most EX rocket motors flown at TRA launches are AP based, which is not illegal or prohibited. You can purchase it commercially, but there is a minimum level of skill involved to successfully manufacture it. To fly at TRA research launches, you'll need to be L2 certified. I definitely recommend finding a mentor who can show you the ropes before trying this. Be skeptical of any instructions you find on the internet or YouTube. Real experience and knowledge of theory is best.

Here is the TRA Research Safety Code:

Only not illegal in the US. Other countries may vary. Manufacture of propellant in Australia is illegal without a manufacturing licence. Difficult to get and expensive. Hybrids are not illegal in Australia.
Different club, local government, State, National rules. Now some smart person might say that clubs do not define the law. However the law might say you have to be a member of a club. If you're not a member you could be illegal. Again depending on which piece of dirt you're standing on.

Join a club, get a mentor....
Norm
 
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