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Rocket Boys - Auks XX - XXV Impulse?

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dr wogz

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Hi,
the wife & I are reading about Homer Hickam Jr., and his exploits on the slag heap. We're at the final few chapters, and I'm wondering... What kind of impulses were they getting with the later models? I'm assuming he had the 4' tube filled, pretty much to the top, for a long burn..

There is no mention of a diameter, and rarely a mention of length of the rockets they built.. They are all steel tubes, so I would imagine there a significant weight to get off the ground..

I'm guessing with their experiments, they all have an honorary level 3!!
 

mjennings

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I never really sat down and tried to figure that out either. I think he is rather intentionally vague to discourage repeats as far as some of the technical details are concerned. There is a feature on the movie about the rockets. Good books though. Once you finish Rocket Boys you should pick up Coalwood Way and Sky of Stone, less rocketry but good stories as are his WWII fiction
 

MaxQ

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IIRC Quentin Wilson was at an LDRS and launched a Miss Riley from Kyle's Rocketman shop. In an interview he compared the rockets he and Homer worked to be more like the M flights.
Not exactly scientific, but a rough comparison.
 

aerostadt

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I tend to think that the Homer Hickham gang was using zinc and sulfur for some or many of their rockets. Usually, this propellant was considered to have a specific impulse in the 80 sec range or about the same as black powder. The total impulse would have been about 1/3 of that of AP composite propellants.
 

Salvage-1

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I would agree, from the "zincoshine" label, and the inference in the film/book to Miss Riley showing them the zinc/supher reaction as part of a science experiment.

Zinc/Sulphur with a moonshine wetting agent/binder.

Check out this rare footage, the rocket looks just about 3/4 as tall as the kid next to it. These were FULL of propellant, but with heavy aluminum tubing and steel nozzle. I would suggest around L levels for the larger rockets.

[video=youtube;Fs6X4aUkenI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs6X4aUkenI[/video]
 
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