largest amateur built bi-liquid engine

SLAM: debunk creationism, pseudoscience, and superstitions. Discuss logic and morality.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas

User avatar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4151
Joined: 2004-09-23 04:42pm

largest amateur built bi-liquid engine

Postby dragon » 2012-05-22 08:57am


Yesterday, Sunday 20, 2012 Copenhagen Suborbitals successfully test fired the largest amateur-built bi-liquid rocket engine in the world. In short, the TM65 engine fired for about 30 seconds and was still standing after the test with almost no trace from the magical transformation of 700 liters of propellant turned into pure power.
The event was not only another technological cornerstone for our suborbital space organization but also a living proof of a perfect cooperation between Copenhagen Suborbitals crew members, our support organization (CSS), spectators and additional assistance by friends and allies. This is done from pure heart of the mission and hand build from scratch. No payment, no commercial interest and no holding back information.

We were certainly blessed by a beautiful and hot summer day with a blue sky and the vapor fumes from liquid oxygen (LOX) has never looked more stunning.

The TM65 engine runs on alcohol and LOX and the alcohol was fueled the night before the test. On the day of the test we began around 10 a.m. and soon everyone began to perform whatever tasks they were assigned to. Setting up crowd and safety perimeters, kilometers of power and data cables, photo and video equipment, water sound suppression system, PA equipment, live streaming studio, spectator entrance, food areas and tools for the operation and check out of engine TM65.

Just after 7 p.m. we took cover in our bunker approximately 50 meters away and the engine was fired. The ignition sequence is important to understand when watching the result on video. At T-8 seconds a pyro starter is ignited. T-3 seconds the pre-burn phase is begun, letting in both alcohol and LOX with low pressure. T-0 seconds the main stage begins using nitrogen to create a high-pressure alcohol and LOX feed.

This basically means that the engine begins with a low-pressure burn (creating oscillations) and quickly changes to a smooth main-stage, high-pressure burn.

The engine roared for 30 seconds and it was absolutely the most spectacular engine we have ever fired. The entire test area was rinsed by a combination of 4,000 liters of water blasted and vaporized and the thrust of the engine. So were our cameras. However, we got all the data and video we wanted and calculations and conclusions are being performed as I write this. We do not know how many tons of thrust and ISP yet, so please, have patience with all this data but take a look at the published videos and photos for now.

We have previously been keen on using hybrid rocket engines but haven’t yet found easy solutions to oscillation problems. We could easily stay on the hybrid path but we like to experiment with alternative solutions. So far the bi-liquid engine shows no oscillations and has a much shorter turn-around period for another test since there is not large grain casting.

This summer is surely packed with experiment that will shape the future of Copenhagen Suborbitals.

Thank your so much for the thousands of live feed viewers and donors during the day.

LES test and capsule drop test coming up soon … stay tuned

pics and videos on the webpages

"There are very few problems that cannot be solved by the suitable application of photon torpedoes

Padawan Learner
Posts: 271
Joined: 2011-07-20 07:56am
Location: Tatooine

Re: largest amateur built bi-liquid engine

Postby MrDakka » 2012-05-23 05:20am

I wonder what sort of thrust levels they were achieving.
Needs moar dakka

User avatar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4151
Joined: 2004-09-23 04:42pm

Re: largest amateur built bi-liquid engine

Postby dragon » 2012-05-23 08:36am

MrDakka wrote:I wonder what sort of thrust levels they were achieving.

Found this one anoth page

Introducing the liquid propellant engine TM65 “Tordenskjold” by Peter Madsen at Copenhagen Suborbitals. The engine produces between 65 and 90 KN thrust, which is equivalent to the order of 200,000 horsepower.


The Merlin 1A from the falcon 1 rocket had 380kN and the Merlin 1D has 620kN. Now the F1 from the Saturn V rocket had 7.7mN so about 85 times what the TM65 had at max power.
"There are very few problems that cannot be solved by the suitable application of photon torpedoes

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 13237
Joined: 2002-07-18 06:08pm
Location: Poland

Re: largest amateur built bi-liquid engine

Postby PeZook » 2012-05-24 03:39am

So it's about 50% more powerful than the LM descent engine? That's actually not bad for amateur gear.
JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

User avatar
Jedi Master
Posts: 1389
Joined: 2007-08-02 01:39pm
Location: Dresden, valley of the clueless

Re: largest amateur built bi-liquid engine

Postby Skgoa » 2012-06-06 06:13pm

Sorry for the slight necro but...

These numbers are utterly, utterly meaningless; as unqualyfied figures of raw thrust always are. Their "engine" (as shown in the video it's not nearly flight-worthy) is horribly massive and humongous, thus this is nothing more than a gloryfied test stand. Thrust really doesn't matter that much, when you need a whole bulding of support structure that you can't lift off the ground. ;)
And quite frankly their stated goals(1) of a 80% propellant mass ratio and an Isp of only 200 seconds is laughable. I have gone on record here in favour of the cheap-and-simple approach to smaller rockets but this is ridiculous. At least they are honest about having blatantly copied the A-4. Considering the striking ignorance displayed in the blogpost I quoted, I very much doubt they will be able to scale this up significantly. (Hint: better people with better ressources have abandoned the design long ago.)

(1) ... andenmaade
Economic Left/Right: -7.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.74

This is pre-WWII. You can sort of tell from the sketch style, from thee way it refers to Japan (Japan in the 1950s was still rebuilding from WWII), the spelling of Tokyo, lots of details. Nothing obvious... except that the upper right hand corner of the page reads "November 1931." --- Simon_Jester

User avatar
Posts: 41
Joined: 2010-01-14 06:14pm

Re: largest amateur built bi-liquid engine

Postby CyrilsScribe » 2012-06-26 10:44pm

Still pretty cool though, very few organizations are able to achieve successful and oscillation-less burns. The A-4 worked exceedingly well, especially in the Bumper-Wac configuration. It was more limited in altitude due to the one-ton ballast (normally explosive payload) needed to make the rocket stable than the motor itself.
Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.

Return to “Science, Logic, And Morality”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests