An archive of propellant formulations, motor designs, static test data and other information from the country’s top EX flyers! Individuals are invited to submit their favorite designs for posting here. When preparing your submission please use the following format: formulation details, sources of supply, processing notes and static test and/or flight photos and videos.
Click here to submit information to RCS.
DISCLAIMER - READ THIS FIRST!!!
RCS and the authors of the information provided on this page take absolutely no responsibility in any way for the material presented herein. The authors believe it to be accurate and safe from their own experience, but if you choose to use any of this information you are doing so entirely at your own risk. Bear in mind also that you must obey all laws in your city, county, and state, as well as the federal laws pertaining to rocket motors. Learning about these is not within the scope of the material presented herein - it is your obligation to ensure that you are in full compliance. That having been said, if you are a sensible adult and wish to make your own motors, read onward.
Bear in mind that the materials used in propellant manufacture, the finished propellant, and especially the propellant shavings are all extremely flammable. Safety is paramount! One mistake and you can have a serious injury or fire. Here is a list of things you must bear in mind...
• Always conduct all operations in a safe place. That does not mean your kitchen table, your bedroom, or even an attached garage. Think about this - in a worst case scenario, if there were to be a fire, what would be at risk? I think you'll agree that isolating any flammable materials from your home and loved ones is a wise thing to do. Build a shed, buy a little trailer, whatever you have to do... just keep your experimentation in a safe place.
• Always have fire extinguishing agents available in your work area. A standard household extinguisher is okay for secondary fires, but will not extinguish burning propellant. Really, your best bet if you have burning propellant is water, but even this may only limit the fire. And remember, only try to extinguish a fire if it is safe to do so. Don't be a hero. Since your work area will be isolated, if it burns down, it will not be the end of the world.
• Always use proper safety equipment. Wear chemical resistant gloves, and use a dust mask when handling dry chemicals, especially metal powders.
• Never smoke around propellant. Never operate grinders, welding torches, etc. in the same area where you have your gear.
• Read those MSDS sheets. Know your risks.
• Remember that cured propellant can be cut and drilled at low speed (~500 RPM), but must never be subjected to impact, friction, static or mechanical spark or heat above 170 deg. F.
• Strive to know as much as possible about what you are doing. Read every book you can and talk to everyone who is into making motors you can find. Safety and knowledge go hand in hand.
• If you are into pyrotechnics, bear in mind that chlorates must never come in contact with AP.
Propellant Formulations (PDF format)
Wimpy Red Formulation
Don Rice's Exocet using a 75mm 6-grain Wimpy Red propellant motor (photo by Kevin Trojanowski).
Rich Pitzeruse's Patriot using a 75mm 6-grain Wimpy Red propellant motor.
Click here to view an mpg video of a test of a 54mm 1040 N-sec Kosdon case loaded with 9" of Everclear propellant total (3 BATES grains X 3" long each). Bottom (nozzle end) grain had a 5/8" core and the top two grains had a 9/16" core. Nozzle throat was .441" diameter.Click here to view an mpg video of a test of a 54mm 1400 N-sec Kosdon case loaded with 12" of Everclear propellant total (4 BATES grains X 3" long each). All grains had a 5/8" core.
Click here to view an mpg video of a test of a 54mm 2550 N-sec Kosdon case loaded with 24" of Everclear propellant total (6 BATES grains X 4" long each). The two grains at the nozzle end had 7/8" cores, while the remainder of the grains had 3/4" cores. The two grains with 7/8" cores got ejected through the nozzle at the end of the burn. Nozzle throat was .658" diameter.