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Rocket Racer...would you fly it?

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by JoeRad, May 8, 2009.

  1. JoeRad

    JoeRad Karting

    Sep 23, 2008
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    #1 JoeRad, May 8, 2009
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  3. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra F1 Rookie
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    If I knew what I was doing with it, sure. Right now...not a chance!
     
  4. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    So the throttle settings are on/off?
     
  5. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

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    #4 Spasso, May 8, 2009
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  6. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Throttleable rocket engines have been made but to me the scary part would be the fuel. Rockets don't burn 110LL.
     
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  8. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    I remember the jets or "Dog Whistles" as Steve calls them but they made rockets too?
     
  9. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

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    I thought they did, as in the second picture. I could be mistaken. It happens on occasion.........................
     
  10. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    +1

    So what is the fuel, and who fuels them?

    Are these engines variable thrust?
     
  11. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    Answering my own question:
    http://www.xcor.com/products/vehicles/rocket-racer.html

    Reading the article, it seems the thrust is either on or off, and the engine is blipped on and turned off depending on requirements

    Yee ha.
     
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  13. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Russ- Have worked with XCOR in the past. Piston pumps are among the loudest, most vibration-prone devices I have ever seen or heard. Whoever flies the bloody thing will need a bunch of ear protection. LOX/RP-1 (rocket propellant one, high grade kerosene) are fairly standard rocket propellants. Also used on the L-M Atlas V EELV, with Russian RD-180 engine. Earlier used as the first stage propellants for the Saturn vehicles that got us to the moon.

    Actually not too difficult to throttle rocket engines if they are designed for it from the start. A pintle injector as used on the lunar excursion module works quite well and gives deep throttling capability if properly designed.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  14. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra F1 Rookie
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    I don't know...if that ever becomes reality, I predict there will be a lot of dead people.
     
  15. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Very cool. Some one told me once that much of the science of rocket engines was the science of high flow pumps.

    Interesting about the the pintle. Watching the sim video on this engine though, it's clear that it is non-throttled, using judicious power periods interspersed with gliding. Will really require some excellent pilot technique in energy management, which I actually find will add to the entertainment for other pilots (I loved Hoover's engine out routines) as energy management is the hallmark of an excellent pilot.

    In the scheme of the race, there is also a pit stop to refuel -- let's hope their pit crews are better than Ferrari's or poof!
     
  16. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    hee hee, well said!
     
  17. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    If I could I'd fly it today! No hesitation.
     
  18. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Russ, in 1968, I believe, at the Abottsford Airshow , Chuck Lyford, a Seattle area pilot, pulled off an astonishing act with Larry Blumer's P-38 after doing the normal aero routine with it. He climbed away to the north, turned around and dove back to the show line and shut off both engines and proceeded to do a loop and a roll after the loop. As he turned away from the show line he cranked up the engines while he was still climbing and proceeded into another aerobatic demonstration, shut down the engines and did a dead stick landing. Hoover was at the show and Lyford told him that he should do a dead stick act with the Aerocommander. The next year Hoover showed up with his new dead stick routine with the AeroCommander. It was incredible to hear the P-38 go by with only the sound of the air flowing around it. Two incredible pilots.
    Switches
     
  19. RacerX_GTO

    RacerX_GTO F1 World Champ
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    I would be hesitant. I still think of the accounts I've read of Me-163 pilots melted alive in their seats when fuel somehow found it's way in the cockpit. All that was left was his skeleton.
    When rockets go wrong, they really go wrong in a big way.
     
  20. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Very interesting! I never knew that Hoover's deadstick routine was actually Lyford's idea. Thanks for that.
     
  21. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Ironically enough, just like a World War I rotary engine!
     
  22. dmark1

    dmark1 F1 World Champ
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    I would only if they supplied me with toilet paper after I got out....
     
  23. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Gabe- Reports on the dangers involved with the Me-163 were exaggerated, but there were accidents. Fuels on the 163 were hypergolic, which means they ignited upon contact with each other. Seal design had to be very good. They used a mixture of hydrazine and alcohol as fuel and peroxide at about 80% concentration as the oxidizer, with a very small amount of potassium-copper cyanide in the fuel to act as a catalyst for the peroxide. Peroxide, in addition to being a very strong oxidizer, has another bad habit in that it is shock sensitive, so there were a couple of early accidents involving explosions of residual fuel (after burn-out) at landing due to the skid landing gear.

    Hydrazine was actually considered harmless back then and even our rocket community used to dump it on the ground before it was discovered it was a really harsh carcinogen. Mono-methy-hydrazine (MMH), a monopropellant, is still used heavily in the US space industry, including the Shuttle.

    There is an excellent, inexpensive two book series on the Me-163 by Schiffer. Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet Vols 1 and 2. ISBNs 0-88740-232-1 and 0-88740-403-0.

    Incidentally, if you wear soft contact lenses, you sterilize them by using 3% peroxide (Aeosept or other), and the small metallic disc in the lens holder catalyzes the peroxide (H2O2) so it does not burn your eyes the next morning.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  24. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    When I read these posts regarding celestial navigation, electronic warfare, EWO'S, Whizo's, and rocket fuels, I realize just how out of date I am. I remember 80/87 and 115/130 and things like spark plugs and magnetos and bomb racks. Fun to read Taz's posts even if I don't understand all of it. Hummm. I have some rockets left over from last July, maybe I can......
     
  25. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jim- Another misconception. The LeRhône rotaries (and their Oberursel versions), along with the Admiralty/Bentley Rotaries (AR/BR-1 and BR-2), Clerget rotaries, Siemens-Halske rotaries and most WW-I rotaries were throttleable from about ~600 rpm to their maximum of ~1200 rpm (1800 rpm for the SH-III) while on the ground, and slightly less throttleable in the air due to windmilling of the propeller.

    Early Gnômes fitted to British and French aircraft were not throttleable because no cockpit controls were fitted except for a coupé or blip switch, which cut off the ignition. Cockpit controls were not necessary for early aircraft because maximum altitudes reached were below 6,000', so mixture control was not an issue. Later rotaries also had the same blip or coupé switches, but these were combined with a throttle and mixture controls. The coupé/blip switches were used primarily for landing and taxiing, where the throttle could not cut power sufficiently.

    German versions of the early Gnôme engines (Oberursel mainly) also had cockpit controls, which allowed both throttling and ignition cutoff.

    There were some different methods used on the Gnôme 9N used in the Nieuport 28 and some Sopwith Camels, but not sure anybody is interested in that much detail. Let me know if you are. Fred Murrin and I published an article on the Gnôme 9N in "Over the Front".

    Bob- You are not behind the times. The most deadly tank killer in WW-II was the Hawker Typhoon, which used rockets very similar to the ones you have saved. Hopefully yours are without the warheads. I still remember the days when every gas station had a mechanic who could fix just about anything broken on a car. No more. Replaced with a tow truck and factory technicians who can read the ECUs and what they say. Progress? Who knows? My dwell meter and timing light are pretty much obsolete now.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  26. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    I have a book about rotary engines that was published in 1918 and the one thing that amazed me was the dimensional tolerances of the parts and the beautiful drawings of the internal characteristics. They were by no means crude pieces of machinery and they couldn't be with 3 or 4 hundred pounds of cylinders whirling around at 1200 hundred RPM. The most fun that I ever had at an air show other than doing the Clown Act was assisting the Ottowa Museum crew to operate the WW1 planes that they brought there. They couldn't find anyone who knew how to hand prop a rotary or that wanted to. The Avro 504K was particularly dangerous because of the maze of nose-over sticks, skids, and wires that you had to dance through after the prop got turning. The torque and thrust from those old engines is tremendous and it wouldn't be a good day to get tangled up in the prop. I don't recall which airplanes had throttles but they all had blip switches. I think that the Nieuport 17 had a combination and the Pup had a throttle because the rpm was lowered so we could pull the chocks and then it was full bore for maybe 30 yards and it was airborne. They were beautiful sights in the air but not pretty when they returned with a layer of sticky castor oil all over them. We spent hours and tons of rags cleaning them but I would like to do it all over again.
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  27. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- I have been to the Dayton (Wright-Patterson AFB) WW-I fly-ins for the last decade or so. The Avro 504K was fitted with a wide variety of engines, primary of which were the 110/120 hp LeRhône 9J/Jb and the 130/140 hp Clerget. The Nieuport 17 used the same engines and the Pup used the LeRhône 9C, an earlier 80 hp, 9 cylinder rotary with a throttle, as you remembered. Great sounds from all.

    The Gnômes, especially the N.28 9N, were considerably louder, because of their valve configuration. Not too different from a piston pump driven, turbo-fed rocket engine in noise.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  28. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    You jabbed my memory a bit and I believe the 504K did have a Clerget in it. The sight of that airplane performing a falling leaf in the clear sky of a sunlit evening will stick with me forever. You could see the spurt of castor oil in the exhaust when the pilot let up on the blip switch to advance power. We helped to assemble and rig the airplanes after they came out of the C-130 and were there when they test flew them the evening before the show day and I wanted to fly or to fly in one SOOO bad. Unbelievable sweet memories from that day, they have a grace about them that is no longer with the current crop of airborne machines but the modern stuff is damned exciting. I love it all! I think that the Gnome was a MONOSOUPOP---single valve affair that did have a sharper distinctive sound to it.
    Thanks for your expert inputs to all of this.
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