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TrueZer0 - The vehicle is flying like a dream

Published by Rob on Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:08 pm
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Sun Oct 12 10:08:59 CDT 2008

The last couple of times we tested, we noticed that the motor was blowing excessive steam. Yesterday we opened the motor, and found out why.

View image Here

That photo is a section of the catalyst pack, about 1/4″ of the way in. Those screens should be all beige. That pattern of dark spots lines up with the inlet holes in our motor’s injection plate. The spots are dark because the catalyst has been eroded from the screens by the force of the peroxide blasting through them. It appears that the injection plate had too few holes in it, and was concentrating the peroxide into forceful jets.

This explains why the performance of the motor has been decreasing lately.

As bad as it seems, we got lucky in a number of ways:

First, we already had a plate with more holes in it from previous experiments with the motor. We had been using it successfully for quite a while (with no serious erosion problem), but at some point we replaced it with the current one because we thought it might improve performance (it did not).

Second, we already had some new catalyst screens made up from experiments we were doing early on in the process.

We’ve added the new screens, swapped back to the previous injection plate, and made a few other tweaks to the motor. Testing shows that things now appear happier than ever. The motor is once again blowing clear, and efficiency is definitely improved.

Today, Scott will be running the numbers to find out if the efficiency is actually good enough for the 90 second burn needed for the challenge.

BTW, the takeoff and landing tests went great. The vehicle is flying like a dream.

Please feel free to discuss this topic further in the forum or chat…

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