A Vertical Empire: The History of the UK Rocket and Space by C N Hill

By C N Hill

"A Vertical Empire" describes the paintings in rocketry and house examine performed within the united kingdom within the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties. At one time, the programme used to be as refined as these within the US and Russia. The tasks have been cancelled one after the other as Britain's makes an attempt to take care of militarily with the 2 superpowers weakened, due to Treasury strain and the assumption that there has been no fiscal destiny in area expertise. a lot of the cloth during this publication hasn't ever been on hand ahead of, due partially to the 30-Year Rule bearing on executive files, and in part to the delicate army nature of the paintings. The tasks coated contain rocket-propelled airplane, huge army missiles comparable to the medium diversity ballistic missile "Blue Streak", the try out rocket "Black Knight" and the re-entry experiments it carried, and the satellite tv for pc launcher "Black Arrow". moreover, proposed initiatives that can were constructed from those automobiles are lined intensive. there's additionally significant political research of why those tasks have been finally discontinued.

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Additional info for A Vertical Empire: The History of the UK Rocket and Space Programme, 1950-1971

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The Spectre was of 8,0001b thrust; the Viper jet engine of 1850 lbs. This suggestion was also under consideration by the Ministry, and so Saunders Roe produced modified designs. The SR 53 design then emerged from the various proposals. Avro and Saunders Roe were instructed to build three prototypes each, before the first of many defence economy axes fell. The projects were put on hold. Eventually the Avro prototype, though nearly complete, was to be dropped. Saunders Roe was asked to build 2 prototypes of the F138D/SR53 (the first designation was the Ministry code for the project; the second was Saunders Roe's).

Problems cooling the engine led to a change of fuel to a methanol/water mixture. This propellant was also used for the early rocket propulsion unit called Snarler, designed as a boost and climb unit for the Hawker PI072 in 1946. As a consequence of work with Lizzie, it was realised that hydrocarbons did not act as good coolants for rocket engines, and that their flame temperatures are also relatively high, exacerbating the cooling problem. At this time, there was considerable investigation into different rocket fuels.

P. combination was to represent the principal British contribution to the rocket field. K. was to make hydrogen peroxide technology very much its own: no one before or since has made use of it on such a large scale. Early German and British work used compounds of manganese in one form or another to decompose the peroxide, often injected with the fuel, leading to a very messy exhaust. P. was passed, and as it did so, decomposed to steam and oxygen at a temperature of around 500°C. Into these hot gases a fuel could be injected, and at that temperature they burned spontaneously, meaning there was no further ignition needed.

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