Homemade Hybrid Rocket Engine

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Homemade Hybrid Rocket Engine



“For demo only,” Ben Krasnow gives a walkthrough in the video below of his homemade hybrid rocket engine, made by combining a rod of poly(methyl methacrylate) with gaseous oxygen. Watch as he shows the fabrication methods for constructing the rocket as well as detailing the rocket engine’s ignition properties.

I built a small rocket engine for demonstration purposes… I lit the engine by inserting a burning cotton swab (with wooden stick) while a small amount of oxygen was flowing. The acrylic catches fire very easily in a pure oxygen environment. The engine can be throttled and shut off completely, which is a major benefit to hybrid engine designs.

YouTube player

18 thoughts on “Homemade Hybrid Rocket Engine

  1. Tommy Phillips says:

    This reminds me of a batch of staple-bound books I picked up from the college library sale thirty years ago. “Pacific Rockets, The Journal of the Pacific Rocket Society”, from the late 40’s.
    One of their experiments was drilling a hole through a hunk of redwood, mounting an oxygen tank on top and an igniter on the bottom, and launching it.
    My collection of the journals is woefully incomplete, so I don’t know how high the wooden rocket launched, but I know that a couple of years later they had switched to plastic.

    1. Nick Normal says:

      That’s a great story Tommy. It makes me yearn for a “library of maker books” from yesteryear. Thanks for reading!

    2. Ben Brockert says:

      Hi Tommy,

      I heard about that from some of the folks who were involved with the PRS back in the day. Do you still have the journals, and would you be willing to sell them? I’ve been trying to find a copy, without a lot of luck; I have managed to get some of the American Rocket Society’s though.

      I thought about doing the same thing, with a hybrid built of wood. I’ve also put a bit of work into a pulse jet made entirely of wood. It too would eat itself as it ran.


  2. Andy P says:

    Nice piece of engineering.

    Apt timing as the Bloodhound SSC project tested their hybrid rocket engine last week: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/news/bloodhound-hybrid-rocket-test

  3. Clark says:

    Looks like this is pretty hot, but there is no video!

    1. Nick Normal says:

      Hi Clark, I see the video – and it plays – just fine. But just in case here’s the URL: http://youtu.be/TLPWqCMb7DE

  4. MAKE | Your Comments says:

    […] the piece Homemade Hybrid Rocket Engine, Tommy Phillips says: This reminds me of a batch of staple-bound books I picked up from the […]

  5. ○DIY/Tip▶ Your Comments « dot dot dob tob tob says:

    […] the piece Homemade Hybrid Rocket Engine, Tommy Phillips says: This reminds me of a batch of staple-bound books I picked up from the […]

  6. The Maker Movement | escanning 2013 says:

    […] of objects from people involved in the movement could be anything from DYI laundry soap to a homemade rocket engine to a pancake bot made of Lego. Additionally, Make Magazine (an ezine that discusses issues and […]

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I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

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