Bloodhound tests new 1,000mph hybrid rocket

Nammo, Bloodhound‘s rocket partner, has tested the first in a series of large hybrid rocket motors at their Norwegian test site. The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) will use one Nammo hybrid rocket in high speed testing scheduled for 2015 and a cluster of three rockets in its 1,000mph (1,609 km/h) campaign in 2016.

Nammo said that the design of the motor tested represents “the latest in the evolution of hybrid rocket motor technology, based on a rocket propellant combination of hydrogen peroxide as the oxidiser and synthetic rubber as the fuel.”

Adding that hybrid rockets are a “safe, controllable, low-cost and green alternative for rocket propulsion.”

Described as an unprecedented success, the test firing of the rocket lasted for a predefined 16 seconds, producing a maximum thrust of 30 kN (or 3 tons). The engine started instantly after ignition and the firing was terminated in a controlled manner by closing the main oxidizer valve.

Normally a full burn would have lasted 25 seconds, but on this occasion the test was terminated after 16 seconds for a full inspection. Full integrity of the motor was conserved, meaning that the engine could have been started again to burn for the remaining 9 seconds, if so desired.