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Design & Make Your Own
Solid Rocket Motors
"Hands On" Instruction Class

Registration Information

Information On "How To Make Amateur Rockets" Bookset

CP Technologies
Home Page

Only $195 For The Complete Class!!
Includes "How To Make Amateur Rockets" Bookset

Taught By John Wickman
A Professional Aerospace Engineer

More Classes Will Be Held In 2016
Class Dates Will Be Posted Around Jan. 30, 2016

2015 classes have already been held.

steph1.jpg - 43.3 KThis class will teach you how to design and build your own solid rocket motors in a relaxed and fun environment. This is NOT a "cook book" propellant formula or "cook book" motor design class that leaves the students without the knowledge to design their own rocket motors or formulate their own propellant. This class will teach you how to design a solid rocket motor to a desired pressure-time and thrust-time curve.

During the class, your instructor will give you a peak chamber pressure and pressure-time curve shape and you will design and build a motor to meet that goal. After your motor is built, it will be tested to see how close you come to the goal. Don't worry. You will succeed with the knowledge given to you in this class. Shown below is a pressure-time curve from a student in a previous class. His goal was a progressive pressure-time curve with a peak pressure of 300 psi. Using the information learned in the class and our FPRED motor design software, he nailed his design goal. But his results were not unusual, all of his fellow students nailed their design goals, too.

"Your Rocket Engine class was the most fun I've had in years. Hell, I even learned something" ..... Steph Spooner (Nov. 2003 Class)

If you want to learn how to design solid rocket motors to a specific thrust and pressure and be able to design for progressive, neutral or regressive pressure or thrust curves, then this is the class for you. If you are now designing motors based on Kn values, but have no clue as to what your chamber pressure is or how to control the shape of the thrust - time curve, then this course is for you.

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Pressure - Time Curve From A Student's 2" PVC Pipe Rocket Motor

Your instructor will be John Wickman, a professional aerospace engineer and internationally known in the field of solid rocket propulsion. He will show you how to formulate a composite propellant for burn rate, performance or combustion temperature. He will also show you how to design a propellant grain pattern to give you the thrust time curve you want and how to design the motor so it doesn't structurally or thermally fail.

This is a "hands on" class so make sure you wear "work" clothes. You will mix and cast propellant as well as make rocket motor parts during the class. When you finish this class, you will have the knowledge and confidence to start designing and making your own solid rocket motors that will work the first time.

Videos From The Rocket Motor Design Class

But, that's not all!! Included with the price of this class is the "How To Make Amateur Rockets - 2nd Edition" bookset. You will not find a class like this offered anywhere so enroll now as each class is limited to just a few students. A guarantee that you will receive the individual instruction you need to be successful.

September 2015 Rocket Motor Design Class Holding Their Motors

July 2015 Rocket Motor Design Class Holding Their Motors

June 2015 Rocket Motor Design Class Holding Their Motors

September 2014 Rocket Motor Design Class Holding Their Motors

July 2014 Rocket Motor Design Class Holding Their Motors

May 2014 Rocket Motor Design Class Holding Their Motors

October 2013 Rocket Motor Design Class Holding Their Rocket Motors

June 2013 Rocket Motor Design Class At The Firing Control Panel

Wednesday (9:00 am to 5:00 pm)

You will start by learning how all impulse rocket engines work and how they produce thrust to propel a rocket. Your instructor will show you how to determine the theoretical performance for almost any chemical combination of propellants used in solid, hybrid and liquid rocket engines. You will learn the meaning of key rocket engine performance parameters such as specific impulse, C-star, exit cone expansion ratio and many more. More importantly, you will learn by examples how to use these parameters to design your rocket motor.

The class will then shift its focus to composite solid rocket motors. Your instructor will show you how to control the thrust and pressure of a rocket motor by the propellant grain geometry and nozzle design. You will learn how to design a motor for not only a neutral thrust curve, but for any degree of regressive or progressive thrust or pressure curve you want. Did you know you can have the chamber pressure decreasing while the thrust is increasing or staying neutral? You can and your instructor will show you how. At this point, you will be assigned a maximum peak chamber pressure and pressure-time curve design goal by your instructor. Using what you have learned and the "How To Make Amateur Rockets" software, you will go on a computer and design a rocket motor to meet that goal.

  • Learn How Rocket Motors Work
  • Learn The Key Rocket Motor Design Parameters & How To Use Them
  • Learn How To Design For Specific Thrust & Chamber Pressure Curves
  • Design A Rocket Motor To A Specific Peak Pressure & Pressure Curve

Thursday (9:00 am - 5:00 pm)

After you have designed your motor, you will begin to make it. For the class, you will be making your motor out of simple PVC pipe and fittings. You will begin by cutting PVC pipe into the required lengths for the propellant cartridges. You will cut cores that will go inside your propellant cartridges. Under the supervision of your instructor, you will learn how to mix a solid rocket propellant. After the propellant is mixed, you will load it into your propellant cartridges.

You will learn how to make a simple rocket nozzle for your motor using PVC fittings, water putty and graphite throat inserts. Your instructor will show you how to make rocket nozzles out of other materials such as steel, aluminum, phenolic and graphite.

Your instructor will show you how to use the software program, CHEM, to formulate a solid propellant for a desired specific impulse, combustion temperature or mix viscosity. He will show you how to convert that formulation into weights for a propellant batch plus show you a simple way to calculate the correct amount of curing agent to add to the propellant. In order to properly characterize a solid rocket propellant for use in a motor, you need to determine its burn rate coefficient and exponent. Your instructor will show you a few different methods to get the data needed to determine those values. He will also show you how to use the software program, BURNRATE, to determine the coefficient and exponent.

  • Mix and Cast Solid Rocket Propellant
  • Cut and Prepare Propellant Cartridges
  • Mix and Cast Solid Rocket Propellant
  • Make Rocket Nozzles
  • Learn To Formulate Solid Propellant
  • Learn How To Determine Burn Rate Parameters

Friday (9:00 am - 5:00 pm)

The propellant that you mixed and cast yesterday will have cured into a nice rubbery propellant. Your instructor will show you how to pull out the cores and how to trim any excess propellant from your cartridges. He will also show you a simple way to prepare the propellant surface so your motors ignite easier.

Your instructor will show you how to measure chamber pressure and thrust during a static motor firing. He will show you the various types of instrumentation you can use, how to set it up and some places you can purchase it. You will drill and tap the rocket motor's bulkhead so that you can install a pressure tap to measure the chamber pressure when you static fire your motor, tomorrow. After that, it is time to assemble your motor.

Your instructor will show you how to do a simple thermal analysis of a rocket motor. While the motor used in the class is a simple PVC pipe rocket motor, your instructor will show you how to make motors out of other materials. Your instructor will show you the key areas of the motor that have to be insulated from the heat of the combustion gases. He will show you a simple way to protect those areas. He will also show you how to do a simple stress analysis so that your rocket motors do not structurally fail. If you are going to be making your own reloads, he will show you how to calculate the maximum pressure the reload hardware can experience without damage.

Finally, you will be shown a few simple ways to make reliable electrical igniters to ignite your motor for the static firing. You will no longer have to purchase igniters or igniter kits. You will be able to make your own from materials you can buy in your local stores. He will also show you how to make e-matches for initiating ejection charges fired by electronic deployment devices. Then, you will make your own igniter for your motor.

  • Pull Cores & Trim Propellant Grains
  • Drill and Tap Rocket Chamber Bulkheads
  • Learn How To Do A Thermal and Stress Analysis On Your Rocket Motor
  • Assemble Your Rocket Motor
  • Learn About Different Igniters, e-matches & Make An Igniter For Your Motor

Saturday (9:00 am - 1:00 pm)

This is the big day. Today, you find out if your rocket motor performs as you designed it. You will be shown how to install the igniter in your motor and how to install the motor and instrumentation. After everything checks out, it is time to fire the motor.

You will press the firing button on the control panel as you watch your motor on a TV monitor. As you press the firing button, you will be touching a bit of rocket history. This is not an ordinary firing button or control panel. It is the original control panel used by Aerojet in Sacramento, California. Aerojet was called the "General Motors of Rocketry" by Time magazine in the 1960's. The control panel you are using to test your rocket motor was also used to test fire solid rocket motors powering Polaris, Minuteman and MX missiles including tactical missiles such as Sidewinder, Maverick, Harpoon and many others.

After the test, you, your classmates and your instructor will look at the measured chamber pressure as a function of time and compare it to your prediction. It will be interesting to see how close you come to the measured results. Don't be surprised if you are within 25 psi or less of your predictions. Your instructor will show you how to obtain a C-star combustion efficiency for your motor and how to obtain burn rate data from the test.

Congratulations! You have made and test fired a rocket motor you designed and built yourself. You will receive your Solid Rocket Motor Designer Certificate during a lunch time graduation celebration with pizza and drinks.

  • Test Fire Your Rocket Motor From A Historic Control Panel
  • Analyze Chamber Pressure Data From Your Test
  • Post Fire Examination Techniques On Your Motor - What To Look For
  • Calculate C-star and C-star Combustion Efficiency For Your Motor
  • Determine Burn Rate Data From The Test
  • Graduate With a Solid Rocket Motor Designer Certificate

Your Class Tuition Of $195 Includes!

    Tuition Includes:
  • All Chemicals & Materials For Your Rocket Motor
  • "How To Make Amateur Rockets - 2nd Edition" book, software and video
  • All Lunches During The Class Including Pizza On The Last Day To Celebrate Your Success!
  • Solid Rocket Motor Designer Certificate After Course Completion
  • DVD Video Of You Test Firing Your Rocket Motor
  • DVD Video Of Your Classmates Test Firing Their Rocket Motors
  • DVD Video Titled: "Amateur Rocketry Adventures" - This is the funniest video of rocket and rocket motor bloopers ever put on video. (Only Available From This Class).

Foreign Nationals Welcome To Attend Class!**
No Memberships or Certifications Required!
Class Size Will Be Limited To 7 Students
Sign Up Now To Reserve Your Seat

Click Here To Register On Line For Class

** - Non U.S. citizens may legally attend the class. Military propellants and missile technology information is not included in the class.

Class Location &
Contact Information

The class will be held at CP Technologies facilities at 3745A Studer at the Casper/Natrona County International Airport. Click here for a map of our location

Contact John Wickman at jwickman@space-rockets.com for more information. CP Technologies 3745A Studer, Casper, Wyoming, 82604, (307) 265-5895.

Travel Information &
Motels In Casper, Wyoming

Air Travel

You can fly to Casper, Wyoming on Delta or United Airlines. Delta flights go through Salt Lake City, Utah with passengers routed on Skywest (The Delta Connection) from Salt Lake City to Casper. United Airlines flights go through Denver, Colorado with passengers routed on United Express to Casper. To save money, you can travel to Denver and then rent a car and drive to Casper. Interstate 25 will take you all the way to Casper.

Motels & Hotels

There are a variety of hotels and motels located in Casper in all price ranges.The following is a partial list of hotels and motels in Casper, Wyoming. You can click on the link below and see more motels along with their prices and maps showing where they are located. The class is held at our facility at the airport and there are no motels located at the airport.

You can click on the link below to get information on each hotel/motel plus see their room rates and actually book a room. Click here to see the Casper, Wyoming hotel/motel list plus obtain more information about their rooms, rates and make an on-line reservation.