# So....Are Hybrids Doomed?

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#### deandome

##### Well-Known Member
I did a search, and the last post in 'propulsion' with the word 'hybrid' in the title was in Feb. That confirms what I was thinking when I did the search; I haven't seen anyone talking about them here (or at Rocketry Planet..) for a while...nor have I seen them at our launches at Bong for some time.

This lull goes back before the lawsuit resolution, but geez, 2-3 years ago, hybrids got an awful lot of discussion here. And now that AP motors are easily accessible today, you have to wonder...

Are hybrids doomed?

Maybe 'doomed' is too strong a word, but can this hobby still support the 2-4 mfgs. currently making hardware (something tells me Aerotech won't be following thru on their plans to re-introduce their hybrids, as they discussed a while back)? Do you all see them as much as you used to? Was it kind of a 'fad' that got popular due to the LEUP stuff?

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#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
The challenge with hybrids is overcoming the FUD about how "difficult" they are. Many people see one problem hybrid flight, and assume they're all problematic, difficult, and not worth the effort, then go about giving them a bad name.

We still fly hybrids as often as we used to; no problems with them.

-Kevin

##### Well-Known Member
I agree with Kevin on this. I've seen too many posts where someone has seen one problem flight and said "hybrids don't work". They definately have a learning curve, and take a bit of "open mindedness" to make them work. One has to be willing to tinker with them, and not give up just because they have an issue or two. Having a patient, knowledgable mentor helps too.

I personally like the complexity of the hybrids. I thiks it's way cool to remotely fill the motor, watch it vent, then initiate the launch, kind of like the real thing.

#### bobkrech

##### Well-Known Member
Hybrids are as reliable and perforrm as well as any other type of hobby rocket motor if you read the instructions and understand how they work however they require more GSE than solids and also require electronic recovery methods and thus require more effort to prepare and launch.

I believe for these reasons, less than 10% of the high power community launch hybrids.

Bob

#### jderimig

I believe for these reasons, less than 10% of the high power community launch hybrids.

Bob
Bob is correct,

Only the top 5% to 10%(max) in the rocketeer IQ distribution fly hybrids.

(The next most intelligent segment fly only low power...)

#### deandome

##### Well-Known Member
But you know that a significant # of that 5-10% got into hybrids because of the BATFE hassles.

Now that that's not an issue...and that mfgs have recently come out w/SCADS of new, exciting propellant options...it's pretty clear to me that hybrid sales are gonna plummet along with the # of hobbyists who try it out.

Sure, the existing hybrid people aren't gonna all up 'n quit, but do you really think the small...but steady...stream of new adoptors that you saw over the last decade is going to remain viable? Seems to me there already were too many mfgs. for such a small niche, and now that niche is going to get smaller.

Speaking of hybrid people ...have you seen the previews for the remake of 'V" that's coming to ABC? It looks AWESOME!!

#### JoeG

##### Well-Known Member
I think it takes too long to assemble a hybrid... Oops....wrong thread.

Just kidding!!

Joe

#### n5wd

##### Well-Known Member
We still fly hybrids as often as we used to; no problems with them.
Kevin,

Would
We still fly hybrids as often as we used to; no more problems than usual with them
be more accurate? :neener:

#### n5wd

##### Well-Known Member
...I haven't seen anyone talking about them here (or at Rocketry Planet..) for a while...
You're not looking at the right electronic arenas, then... I subscribe to a couple of hybrid mailing lists, and it's all I can do to keep up with the daily traffic on them. Still lots of interest from hybrids, just maybe not from the RP and TRF audience.

#### H_Rocket

##### Death by Powerpoint
But you know that a significant # of that 5-10% got into hybrids because of the BATFE hassles.

Where do you get that from? I do not know a single hybrid flier who chose them because of the BATFE issues.Yes I saw several postings where people mentioned that "everybody" was gonna go hybrid because the ATF had not figured a way to regulate PVC.

Every hybrid flier I know uses them because they enjoy the additional complexity or like the unique performance.

#### jderimig

But you know that a significant # of that 5-10% got into hybrids because of the BATFE hassles.
I am not sure that is true based on my direct knowledge of the people that I know that fly hybrids. Some people like hybrids because they are different and possess a different quality of the experience and flight that has "selective appeal".

If the temporary relaxation of AP motors regulation is long lived then the hobby will grow and the percentage of hybrids flyers will likely decrease. But hybrids will have an appeal to a small amount of the growing pool. My guess that hybrid sales will be stable and grow slightly in absolute terms.

#### troj

##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Would be more accurate? :neener:
:bangpan::bangpan::bangpan::bangpan::bangpan:

:neener: back atcha!

-Kevin

#### kramer714

##### Well-Known Member
I fly them because it is cheaper!

Skyripper K reloads $25 per for a K345$5 for Nitrous
Hypertek M $140 for a reload, even with the nitrous you are under$200 per launch.

Using AP would be double the cost.

#### blackjack2564

##### Crazy Jim's Gone Banana's
TRF Supporter
Our club ICBM Orangeburg, has a large group of hybrid fliers, and most of them do research hybrid launches also.

I must say they have got it down pat, very few times have I ever seen difficulty with flying problems. Most are igniter related and no more so than igniter problems Ap fliers have.

They fly Sky Ripper ,Hyper tek, Contrail,and several Homebrew versions up to N's on research weekends all very successfully.

#### ttabbal

##### Well-Known Member
I find hybrids fun. The extra complexity and somewhat lower cost got me interested. I really like my Skyripper 38 set and am probably going to buy the 54 set as well. My club's launch gear for them is in poor condition though, so I'm designing a GSE setup to replace it. I think in our club, a big part of the reason people aren't all that into them is that we have so many problems with the GSE and few people that know how to set it up.

I don't think they will die out, there's room for many options in the hobby. Hopefully with the restrictions lifted, we will get more people involved in the hobby and some of them might find hybrids interesting.

#### jj94

##### Well-Known Member
I fly them because it is cheaper!

Skyripper K reloads $25 per for a K345$5 for Nitrous
Hypertek M $140 for a reload, even with the nitrous you are under$200 per launch.

Using AP would be double the cost.
N2O is only $5? I never realized that it would be that cheap. #### troj ##### Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent N2O is only$5? I never realized that it would be that cheap.
It depends on the load, and what the local market for nitrous is.

-Kevin

#### Chrisn

##### Well-Known Member
In New Zealand you would spend hundreds for the same ammount of nitrous, except in small quanitites like for a micro hybrid, it works out dirt cheap.

#### jderimig

N2O is only $5? I never realized that it would be that cheap. You use more N2O than you think. A mid K hybrid will need about 3# in the tank, add another pound for gas out the vent and left in the fill line. If you do a test fill to check for leaks add another 1/2 pound. 4# at$3 to $6 a pound your well over$5 for a K gasser (I have found).

They'll still a blast.

#### kramer714

##### Well-Known Member
https://www.macmillen.com/rocketry/motor_nox_weight.html is a great chart of prices for Nitrous for different rockets.

You don't wast that much once you get things figured out, right sizing lines, knowing when it is full, not leaving the tanks on, etc.

I'm paying around $3 per lb filling up a 50 lb tank. #### als57 ##### Well-Known Member You use more N2O than you think. A mid K hybrid will need about 3# in the tank, add another pound for gas out the vent and left in the fill line. If you do a test fill to check for leaks add another 1/2 pound. 4# at$3 to $6 a pound your well over$5 for a K gasser (I have found).

They'll still a blast.
Still got to be cheaper than $100 for an AP K reload. Al #### SpartaChris ##### Well-Known Member The challenge with hybrids is overcoming the FUD about how "difficult" they are. Many people see one problem hybrid flight, and assume they're all problematic, difficult, and not worth the effort, then go about giving them a bad name. We still fly hybrids as often as we used to; no problems with them. -Kevin I've seen more than one hybrid problem. In fact, just about every launch I go to, there are countless more problems with hybrids than with AP motors. I can recall one guy trying 7 times at one launch to get his hybrid off the pad. 7 friggin times! He even had the hybrid guys out at the pad helping him for his last 4 attempts before finally moving on and getting an AP reload. I know hybrids appeal to some, but to me they're pretty boring. They don't really rip off the pad, don't often have that roar that thumps in your chest, and don't often produce a lot of the smoke and fire that makes a rocket look like a rocket. And they seem a bit too complex. I know some guys like that added complexity, but I'll take simple any day. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. #### SpartaChris ##### Well-Known Member Bob is correct, Only the top 5% to 10%(max) in the rocketeer IQ distribution fly hybrids. (The next most intelligent segment fly only low power...) Do you have some kind of source, or is this one of those "Mine's bigger than your's" statements? #### Len_Lekx ##### Active Member Still got to be cheaper than$100 for an AP K reload.

Al
Not necessarily. Out of curiosity, I had a peek at some prices, comparing the cost of a hybrid load to an AP load of similar impulse class.

Going by a J reload... hybrid grains range from $27 to$37. Adding in 3 pounds of NO2, (A guess - someone with actual figures, please correct me...) at $3 per pound, gives$36 to $47. AP reloads of the same class range from$33 to $50. So cost savings isn't a very good justification for using hybrids... #### jderimig ##### Sponsor TRF Sponsor Do you have some kind of source, or is this one of those "Mine's bigger than your's" statements? I haven't seen yours so I can't comment. The original post was meant to be humor. But all humor has a hint of truth to it. Last edited: #### jderimig ##### Sponsor TRF Sponsor Not necessarily. Out of curiosity, I had a peek at some prices, comparing the cost of a hybrid load to an AP load of similar impulse class. Going by a J reload... hybrid grains range from$27 to $37. Adding in 3 pounds of NO2, (A guess - someone with actual figures, please correct me...) at$3 per pound, gives $36 to$47.

AP reloads of the same class range from $33 to$50.

So cost savings isn't a very good justification for using hybrids...
At K and above cost savings are real. 3# of N2O goes for a full K. SRS has reloads for $25. Total cost$34-40 for a full K. Can't get close to that with APCP commercial.

#### jderimig

I know hybrids appeal to some, but to me they're pretty boring. They don't really rip off the pad, don't often have that roar that thumps in your chest, and don't often produce a lot of the smoke and fire that makes a rocket look like a rocket.
Pic of my hybrid..

PS. Its loud as hell.

#### brianc

##### Well-Known Member
Pic of my hybrid..

PS. Its loud as hell.
Knob!

Incredibly Cool! What motor was that?

BTW- It looks like you need to anchor that fill hose better to avoid the dancing snake...

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#### DAllen

##### Well-Known Member
Actually, if I have my way in the near future I would like to see my club get the GSE for hybrid support to encourage more hybrid flights. Of course, that is dependent upon club funds among other things...

-Dave