We found a new place to put our PDRE test rig, at last. The fine building, situated in Wiltshire, at top left, is now the home of the Spacefleet pulse detonation rocket engine test rig. Pulse detonation engines are very simple in construction, relatively safe to operate, and hold out the promise of much higher efficiency of conversion of fuel into thrust. We are using two steel garden sheds placed back-to-back to provide a control cabin and test bench are that we can lock up when we are not there. Only the cylinders (propane and nitrous oxide) will be on view.
We started our experiments in Spring 2019, at a different location, but were obliged to move after a few months of operation. It has taken us nearly three years to find an alternative. This isn't the sort of thing you can do in your own back garden, without having fights with the neighbours. A long barrow, or disused WW-2 bunker would have been ideal, but we should be okay at the present site. Just to be sure, we will build a dump chamber/silencer to cut the noise down. We were beginning to obtain more thrust out of the engine when last active. We added a Shchelkin spiral which had the expected effect of improving the detonation charateristics. Since our original experiments we had a new smaller engine built to allow the engine tube to be filled in a shorter time and enable much higher pulse rates without burning through a lot of nitrous oxide. All being well, we should be able to have the engine running once again towards the end of next month.
There will be more updates here, as get nearer to an operational state.