Saturday, December 1, marked the first flight of The Bounty, a small rocket featuring a hybrid rocket motor propulsion system. YUAA rocket team members went to the athletic fields near Yale’s campus, where they were able to launch The Bounty three times before significant structural damage prevented further launches.
Footage of the launches indicates that the rocket reached a maximum velocity of over 30 meters per second and a maximum altitude of about 50 meters.
The Bounty is approximately 50 cm. long and weighs 250 grams. Its body is constructed from cardboard paper towel rolls, and the fins and nose cone are cut out of light foam. Being a hybrid rocket, The Bounty makes use of both solid and liquid fuels. During ignition, these two fuels are combined so that combustion occurs. Hybrid rocket engines offer many advantages over liquid or solid rocket engines, including greater safety and a higher specific impulse.
The team already has begun construction of its next hybrid-fueled rocket, which will be over twice the size of The Bounty and should reach an altitude of several thousand feet.