The O 10,000 Page

Black Rock

Kansas was not the best place for testing of this type. The next flights were done at the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada. The design of the motor for most of the testing changed little. It worked well from the start. However the airframe went through an evolution.

This is the second airframe type used, still has the short nose but the fins are now swept. This motor had one grain of "Dirty Harry" propellant giving it a distinctive black exhaust which after burned.

First picture is Frank with Gary Rosenfield. Second, Mark Clark hooking up igniter wires. Third, Frank. The wires going into the top of the payload are for the igniter for the fuse back up ejection. An E-match lit a length of safety fuse going to a charge. Final is the launch with the unique plume.

The third airframe design uses the swept fins with a long ogive nose cone. Frank normally uses the same graphite he uses for nozzles for the cones. Also the tower in these photos has the long rails, a modification made to launch the Thunderbolt. At BALLS in 1995 there were 4 O10000s launched!

A modified version of the O10000 was made with a thinner case. The "regular" motor casing is 3/16" thick. To improve performance the it was reduced to 1/8". In the course of testing there was a few spectacular failures but in the end it has been made to work.

On the left is the rocket called "The Medical Examiner", the first test of the thin wall O10000. Right is the result. It burned for about 10 feet and then the nozzle end failed. The motor grains can be seen in the trailing debris. Normally when a rocket motor fails the propellant will snuff out with the sudden loss of pressure. This can be seen here.

In the rockets known as Thunderbolt, the upper stage was a Kosdon M3700. This motor is basically an O10000 reduced to 2.5" in diameter. The M3700s used for the two Thunderbolt flights used a 1/8" case. To improve the empty weight this case was reduced to 1/16" with no problems, several flights were made.

Seen here is "Sleeps with the Lizards". A thin wall M3700 with a fin can and payload section. The take off weight was about 16 pounds. Maximum acceleration was estimated at 75 Gs. It was launched at Black Rock, the parachute deployed successfully, and was lost.


Project Thunderbolt



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