Minor Rocket Launch Failure

A minor failure of the launch, not a minor rocket failing to launch

I have recently made 3 rocket motors based on sorbitol
I still had 2 left over, so I decided to try them instead of letting them absorb moisture and become useless

Since the previous one was such an unsuspected success we have changed our launching method
Instead of launching from inside a tube we taped a stick to the side and put it in a pvc pipe hammered into the ground

The top is a experimental paper casing, bottom is pvc
Launch Tube 2: Electric Boogaloo
Rocket after placing
Rocket with igniter leads
The Setup (Igniter Box, Ammo Crates, Loaded Tube)

The pvc rocket failed to launch due to bad fusing, so only the paper one achieved liftoff

The fuses went out before or during the entering of the nozzle, probably due to moisture, bad quality and excessive deprivation of oxygen

This happened at least 10 times, probably more, and stopped me from launching more than one rocket in the time allocated

I will be working on a electrical NiChrome ignition system and better fuses in future


Vertical Closeup
Wideshot from safe distance

As you can see above it did not quite go to plan

At T+ +-250 milliseconds after liftoff it gave a loud “Pop” and the rocket lost thrust and did 2 loops before landing in the grass, still burning

Rocket after “landing”


My hypothesis is that at t+ 250ms the packed clay nozzle blew out, probably due to increased chamber pressure due to the better fuel used and the inferior strength of such nozzles

I will probably have to design and build a different type of nozzle if not rocket to use this fuel well

Tomorrow I will hopefully be launching the left over pvc rocket and testing out a better camera I got from my brother (thanks bro!)

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