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Motor Tests
Fall 2023

From thrust/pressure measurement to verification of integrity of insulation and Kn, running live motors is always a good chance to see our designs in action.


Scaled Motor Tests

Using a team-designed and integrated DAQ system and test stand, we can scale our motors to test insulation material and manufacturing techniques without wasting large amounts of propellant chemicals.

Our motor tests provide an opportunity for quantitative data collection - for the purpose of verifying our simulations, and also qualitative data - for the purpose of verifying insulative integrity. 

Cali 6 - July 2023

Our most recent trip out to FAR included the launching of our first spaceshot attempt Ambition-III, as well as two smaller rockets CAT-10 and Super Thumper (not pictured).



Ambition-III was the culmination of 3 years of hard work by AeroBing's founders. As the last launch of the founders' AeroBing career, this launch had technical and sentimental significance for the team. 


Ambition-III's point of failure was recognized to be a breach in the seals between the bulkhead and the first insulation liner, caused by a deformation in the bulkhead's walls - an issue previously not identified until the scaling of our manufacturing techniques yielded significant deformation.

The images shown depict the spread of the motor gasses from the breach point taken from a frame-by-frame analysis of our launch videos.

CAT-10 "Liza"

CAT-10 was a 1/3 scale of our spaceshot that explored new manufacturing techniques and insulative material choice. CAT-10 also served the purpose of allowing the new AeroBing admins a chance to design and build a rocket on their own. CAT-10 had an apogee of 4,000 ft as given from Featherweight data.

CAT-10's point of failure was the shear strength of the bond between the nozzle and the epoxy that held it in place. The rocket did not get to experience its full 6.5s burn and was otherwise recovered in great condition. CAT-10 will fly again on the team's next trip to FAR.


These images depict CAT-10 post recovery and pre-launch on the launch rail - the recovered CAT-10 in the left picture and the absence of a nozzle on the right. The clear ring is epoxy, the darker ring is our MSC and beneath that can be seen the unburned propellant.


Cali 5 - Mar 2023

Our 5th trip to FAR served the purpose of launching our 3/4 scale rocket CAT-9.


CAT-9 "Kitty Hawk"

CAT-9 was our 3/4 scale launch and was the debut of new manufacturing techniques pertaining to fins, insulative liners, bulkhead and nosecone.

CAT-9's failure was attributed to the shear strength of the bond between the bulkhead and the airframe. The bulkhead unseated and left behind a ring of uninsulated fiberglass.

The images depict a before and after of the motor coming to pressure and a bright ring can be seen in the second picture; this is the area of uninsulated fiberglass airframe.

Cali 4 - July 2022

On AeroBing's 4th trip to FAR, two rockets were launched - CAT-7 and CAT-5, whose launches had been previously scrubbed due to electronics failures.


CAT-7 Headed to Launchpad.jpg

CAT-7 "Lippman"

CAT-7 was a half-scale launch and our highest flyer so far! The purpose of this launch included the testing of our most sophisticated avionics system for its time and the validation of propellant composition and mixing procedures.


CAT-7's point of failure was a burn-through just above the nozzle. The burn-through produced instability in the rocket's trajectory and caused the fins to bow and fail. Rated for 49,000 ft (just under the limit of the standing FAR waiver), this rocket had its final apogee at around 12,000 ft.

The images show the progressive subtle bowing and subsequent rupture of the fins on the opposite side from the burn-through.

CAT-5 "Taylor"

CAT-5 was a refurbished rocket made from the remains of the mis-designated CAT-6. CAT-5's launch was far from our prettiest, but it's important to our team to stand by our failures as they make up the learning moments that continually shape us.

The images show the electronic bays flown in CAT-7 and CAT-5. These E-Bays utilized off-the-shelf GPS trackers and altimeters in addition to our homemade Arduino based data loggers.

Cali 3 - May 2022

AeroBing's 3rd trip out to FAR featured the launching of CAT-8 - a roughly 1/3 scale rocket that aimed to reach 20,000 ft.


CAT-8 "Andrew"

CAT-8 was flown as tribute to Andrew Desiderio, a fellow WTSN engineer who lost his life before the class of 2021’s graduation. As a 1/3 scale rocket, CAT-8 was an inexpensive redundancy and opportunity to gather more flight data.

CAT-8 fell short of its apogee goal and experienced a maximum altitude of around 5,000 ft as the result of a motor burn-through. CAT-8's parachutes deployed and it was recovered from its debris field of roughly 15 ft diameter.

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