Help and Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately not.  Rocket motors are classified as explosives and cannot be legally shipped using normal couriers.

At this time specialist couriers are prohibitively expensive for shipping small quantities of motors and therefore are not offered as an option.

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Each motor is identified by a series of letters and numbers.  These describe a summary of the motor performance and may be used to superficially match a motor to your use.

Aerotech motors use one of two naming conventions:

Low power naming, e.g. F67-4W

Low power motors are typically named with a single letter and a number before the hyphen. After the hyphen you will see a number (or the letter P) followed by the propellant designation.

Example: F67-4W

  • F: The motor class as determined by the total impulse. An F class motor has between 40 and 80 Newton-seconds of total impulse.
  • 67: The average thrust in Newtons. This example motor has an average thrust of 67 Newtons. Since we know an F-class motor must be between 40 and 80 Newton-seconds total impulse this means that the motor must burn between 0.6 and 1.2 seconds.
  • 4: The delay time in seconds, or the letter P if plugged (no ejection charge). This delay is measured from propellant burnout, even though the delay grain is typically lit at motor ignition. In this example the motor ejection charge is expected to ignite four seconds after motor burnout, i.e. around five seconds after launch.
  • W: The propellant type. In this case the motor has a White Lightning propellant.

High power naming, e.g. I140W-14A

High power motors are typically named with a single letter, a number and the propellant designation before the hyphen. After the hyphen you will see either the letter P or the delay specification.

Example: I357T-14A

  • I: The motor class as determined by the total impulse. An I class motor has between 320 and 640 Newton-seconds of total impulse.
  • 357: The average thrust in Newtons. This example motor has an average thrust of 357 Newtons. Since we know that an I-class motor must be between 320 and 640 Newton-seconds total impulse this means that the motor must burn between 0.8 and 1.7 seconds.
  • T: The propellant type. In this case the motor has a Blue Thunder propellant.
  • 14: The delay time in seconds, or the letter P if plugged (no ejection charge). This delay is measured from propellant burnout, even though the delay grain is typically lit at motor ignition. In this example the motor ejection charge is expected to ignite fourteen seconds after motor burnout.
  • A: The delay adjustability. The presence of the letter A indicates that the delay may be adjusted (shortened) by using the Universal Delay Drilling Tool (UDDT). This tool may be used to remove a precise amount of the delay grain, shortening the delay by a prescribed amount. The UDDT may be found on the Miscellaneous page of the price list. The absence of the letter A after the delay time indicates that the delay is fixed and may only be adjusted by replacing the delay grain.

At this time two propellants are available in the UK:

White Lightning

The classic Aerotech propellant, offering a slower burn and good average thrust.

This propellant is identified by the letter W (White) in the motor designation.

Blue Thunder

A fast-burning propellant, offering a high average thrust but a shorter burn at the same motor size as an equivalent White Lightning motor.

This propellant is identified by the letter T (Thunder) in the motor designation.

No motors may be sold to anyone under the age of 18.  For this reason you will be asked to provide ID if you look under the age of 25.  Please do not be offended.

Motors of I-class or greater (>=320Ns total impulse) are classified as Pyrotechnic P2 articles and may only be sold to those able to provide evidence of safe handling, training and experience in handling high power motors.  A UKRA level-1 or higher certification is acceptable evidence of this experience.

Acceptable forms of identification are:

  • UK Driving licence.
  • UK Passport.
  • Equivalent international documents providing that they include your full name, your date of birth and a photograph.

Single use motor

A non-reloadable motor that may only be launched once.  For a single launch a single-use motor is significantly more cost effective than reloadable motors.

Reloadable Motor System (RMS)

A system of hardware and reloads which allow the hardware to be reused across launches.  The reloads are individually single-use.  Reloadable motor systems are significantly more cost effective for multiple launches.

Motor reload

The combusible material and supporting hardware required to launch a rocket.  A motor reload requires motor hardware to be able to be installed in a rocket.

Motor hardware

An ambiguous term meaning either the individual components of a rocket motor or, specifically when ordering hardware: the hardware kit comprising a casing, the closures and required hardware to install a motor reload in a rocket.

Casing

The tubular portion of the motor hardware specific to the size of motor reload.  High power casings are interchangeable amongst the same diameter RMS systems.  Low and medium power casings (RMS-24/40 and RMS-29/40-120) are not interchangeable with any other system.

Reload Adapter System (RAS)

Allows the use of reloads smaller up to two sizes smaller than the casing to allow the flier to buy one larger casing and fly a multitude of smaller motors.

Universal Delay Drilling Tool (UDDT)

A calibrated tool to permit the removal of delay grain to adjust the delay.  This tool is compatible with all high power RMS reloads with an ‘A’ in the delay specification.  This tool cannot be used on delay grains which do not contain an ‘A’ in the delay specification.

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