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5-Cent-Rocketry

5-Cent-Rocketry

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Published by MoreMoseySpeed

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Published by: MoreMoseySpeed on Jan 29, 2012
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11/02/2012

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THE INCREDIBLE FIVE CENT SUGAR ROCKET REPORT - the teleflite corporation~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MAKING THE PROPELLANT As anyone invovlved in the hobby of model rocketry already knows, commerciallymanufactured model rocket engines cost a bloody fortune. At nearly a dollarapiece for even the smallest, it is much more practical and much less expensivefor you to simply make them yourself. You can make them from materialsavailable to anyone at your local drug, hardware, and grocery stores, andthey'll cost you at the most aboput a nickel each.Simple and inexpensive to make, these little beauties will take a featherweightmodel 200 to 300 feet into the air. A ten dollar investment will buy enoughsupplies to make several hundred rockets, and each one will do anything acommercially made engine will do including igniting second stage rockets andpopping parachutes. Here's how to make them. If you don't already have theseitems around your house, go out, hunt them down, and purchase them as follows.Go to the local drug store and buy a small container of saltpeter and a smallcontainer of flowers of sulfur. Saltpeter is also known as potassium nitrate.Both chemicals are over-the-counter items and do not require a prescriptionfor purchase. In most cases you'll find them in the patent medicines sectionalong with the glycerine, calomine lotion, witch hazel, castor oil, etc. Insome stores, due to shelf space considerations, the pharmacist will keep themin the back. If your local pharmacist does not stock these items, speak to thepharmacist, and he will probably be happy to order them for you.The saltpeter will come in a 4 to 6 ounce container, and the sulfur will bepackaged in the 2 to 4 ounce size. One package of each is sufficient for at
 
least one hundred rockets!Next go to the local supermarket and purchase a small package of powdered whiteconfectioner's sugar. Sugar is the fuel in the rockets you'll be making, andsaltpeter (potassium nitrate) is the oxidizer. The sulfur plays a role inreleasing various gases during the rocket's flight, thus raising propellentimpulse and improving rocket performance in general. Combine these threesubstances in the following proportions by weight. SALTPETER...........................63%SUGAR...............................27%SULFUR..............................10%Ideally you should have some accurate weighing equipment (a triple beamlaboratory balance), but if you don't, a simple postal scale or diet scale willdo. If you're involved in reloading your own rifle and shotgun shells, yourreloading scale will work nicely. Postal and diet scales can be bought in mostlarge department stores for about $5, and the more accurate you measure youringredients, the better your rockets will perform.These little rockets were designed to fly with a very low impulse propellent,and we wanted to make the mixing process as simple and safe as possible, sohere's what we came up with. Place the properly measured chemicals into a smallplastic refrigerator container with a tight fitting lid (a half pound or onepound soft margarine container works great). Break up any lumps ahead of timewith the flat end of a large wooden dowel or screw driver handle, tighten thecap onto the container, shake the ingredients in the container vigorouslytogether for about three minutes, and you're done!WARNING! Never attempt to mix the above-listed chemical together in a blender
 
or any kitchen appliance designed for mixing or grinding food! Friction willgenerate heat, and a blender can rapidly (in the vivinity of the bearing andblades) cause the mixing powders to reach the ignition temperature. Six ouncesof these chemicals in a blender can cause a flash fire large enough to setfire to your entire kitchen, and after that, your house! As we said before,we've designed these rockets to use low impulse propellent, and the lenght ofthe core in each engine is just about right to handle the mixture that you'veprepared from the instructions above.NEVER attempt to load one of these homemade rockets with anything other thanthe properly prepared propellant described in this report, and never attemptto convert or reload a commercially manufactured motor with this homemaderocket propellant!The finished propellant will be a pale yelloe colored powder, and if you wereto simply load it into a cardboard tube with a hole in one end, it would burnto slowly to allow a rocket to fly. In order to use this slow-burning materialto propel your device into the air, you have to get the powder to burn all atonce, and you do this by introducing a core or bore hole right through themiddle of the propellant charge and igniting the propellant all along this coreall at once. Once you've done this, the propellant will burn along its entirelength beginning at the center and burning outward to the inside wall of themotor casing. Rockets constructed in this manner are called core-burners, andthey are ideally suited to the use of slow-burning, homemade, low impulsepropellants.This particular mixtures of chemicals is hygroscopic. That is, if left in anopen container, it will absorb moisture out of the air and dissolve itself init. If you don't keep the propellant container tightly sealed, your propellantwill get damp and not burn properly, but if you keep the lid on, it can be

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