Second flight with a hexaphenox rocket motor (Success)

Flies now:)

***Update 2011/8/19***

First experiment using white wood glue (polyvinyl acetate) as a binder for the propellant hexaphenox. The advantage is that polyvinyl acetate emulsify very well with a 50:50 ratio of water/methanol and hexaphenox is completely solveable in water/methanol which gives the propellant a high density and therefore a good performance. See last video.


***Update 2011/8/16***

Successful static test firing of another 50g hexaphenox, using epoxy as a binder and isopropyl alcohol as a solvant. See first video. 


***Update 2011/8/15***

First experiment by using epoxy as a fuel and KClO3 as an oxidizer. Any shape, any solid fuel or oxidizer or even explosive is possible. See second video how it works...


***Update 2011/8/13***

Another 50g motor casted.

This time I wrapped around filter paper at the inner surface of the PVC tube. This makes it easy to remove the casted propellant from the tube after it is hardened


Removed propellant


Removed filter paper. It is now much easier to completely dry the propellant


3.1g are residual moisture from the solvent methanol


***Update 2011/8/11***

Another test firing with 50g hexaphenxo has been done (see third video). Binder: Rosin, solved in methanol, casted into a ID 30mm PVC pipe with 10mm dia core, 48h hardened at 30 ºC.


***Update 2011/7/31***

Second flight was successful and the rocket reached an altitude of 136m. See fourth video!


Since a few month I am exploring the possibility to use hexamine as a rocket fuel. The oxidizer I am using currently is KClO3. I call the mixture Hexaphenox. Hexa stands for hexamine, phen for the catalyst and ox for the oxidizer. After many static test firings I built a small model rocket for the maiden flight. The weight of the rocket was 30g, the weight of engine, containing 10g of hexaphenox,  23.5g. The grain had a continuous core with a dia. of 4mm, the nozzle throat dia. was 4.8mm. Unfortunately the motor had a CATO shortly after lift off. For those who don't know what a CATO is, it stands roughly for a catastrophic motor failure.

I was told, rocketeers call this kind of CATO "crowd pleaser". The motor was chuffing, something that happens when the propellant is ignited near the nozzle instead of at the head of the core. The second video shows a static test firing with ignition on the head of the core - no CATO.

Fortunately I still have some of these Chinese 30 RMB model rockets so I can re-try it tomorrow.

Launch pad and rocket for the second attempt

Single frame image converted from the launch pad camera.


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Wow the new mix looks like it has TONS of potential (energy, hehe)! Looking forward to the woodglue powered rocket :D

I'm excited to hear what the thrust power is :D

Hi Krumlink,

This was just a binder experiment. No nozzle was jused, thus thurst measurement make no sense. But I promise thrust measurements will follow:)

Really nice flight.
And too bad for the first rocket.
What if you tried again the 3-motor setup? Would 1 motor heat too much the other 2? What would the maximum altitude be?


P.S.: On the CATO video you should have put little "fireworks powder" in the rocket. Then it would be a real "crowd pleaser".

I don't go for a cluster now. I just wanted to show that my hexaphenox propellant experimental motor works. The first successful flight of an experimental motor is always a memorable milestone. Next step is to find a binder and build a bigger motor. For bigger motor I can not just press the powdered propellant anymore.

Who doesn't like rockets!! Thanks for the post!

Can you tell me how you got the attitude data?  Was is 'eyeballed' or do you have gear on board the rocket to capture the data?

Thanks again.

Hi Voltar,

There was a small homebuilt altimeter on board, based on a pressure sensor and a PIC.

Is the build info on line anywhere or is it considered MarkusB 'secret sauce'?

My altimeter design is based on this one:

Instead of a 12V battery I am using a 3V coin battery and a  Pololu 5V Boost Regulator which saves a few grams. Will write a "something else" or update it here if I have time:)


Thought It was cool enough. :)