Aerospace Engines A to Z
Aerospace Engines A to Z

Updated: 14-Oct-2022



Rocket Propulsion Establishment was an official rocket engine test center.

-It was located at Westcott in Buckinghamsire.

-In addition to controlling the development of the “Blue Streak”, “Black Night”, “Black Arrow” vehicles and interceptor missiles such as the “Bloodhound”, “Seaslug” or “Thunderbird”, it was involved in design and testing of rocket engines and "Boosters" based on Liquid Hydrogen, Hydrogen Peroxide (HTP) and solid fuel.

Testing of a rocket motor in the Establishment
“On-Site Trial”

-As we can see, the tested engines, apart from some of their own design, were the Armstrong Siddeley, Bristol, RZ-20 of Rolls-Royce, etc.

-They tested the Sprite, Super-Sprite, the Specter and Double Specter from De Haviland. And the Stentor and Gamma from Armstrong Siddeley.

Motor cohete Gamma 201
“Gamma 201”

Gamma 301
“Gamma 301” (PiP)

-A group of 8 Stentor engines were in the first stage of the "Black Arrow" and only two engines in the second stage.

Dos motores Stentor en la 2ª etapa
“Second stage" (PiP)

-We see all these engines in the chapters of the corresponding construction brands.

-Some are repeated because at different moments of crisis they were reunified and finally all are included in Rolls-Royce.

-Solid fuel engines were more diverse.

-We have the following controlled: (in alphabetical order)

-The Bantam IV, 380 lbf of thrust
-The Chick IA, 4,400 lbf.
-The Cuckoo I and II of just over 18,000 and 8,000 lbf.
-The Golfinch II, 41,000 lbf.
-Magie II 6,600 lbf.
-Raven VI 15,000 lbf.
-Siskin of 1,300 lbf.
-The Smoky Joe, 2,900 lbf.
-Stonechat of 32,000 lbf.
-The Waxwing, 3,500 lbf.

-And so on. This list is from around the 1960's. There are certainly many more.

-Although a lot of them are derived from many others and finally from two or three of them. We highlight the Stonechat, the Rook, or the Bloodhound's Gosling.

-We can show a cutaway of some of these mentioned engines.

The Rook rocket engine
“El Rook”

-In the upper picture we have the real proportions of the engine. In the lower one it is cut to reduce the length.

Gosling engine

-This cutaway of the Gosling is also shortened. Below we have them in the Bloodhound. Observe the inclined nozzle.

Bloodhound with ramjets and boosters
“Bloodhound with ramjets and boosters”

-For tests, simulating the two Blue Steel engines, atypical engines were made such as the solid-fuel Jackdaw, to power models and other devices.

The Jackdaw rocket engine
The Jackdaw engine, cutaway
“The Jackdaw”

-Below we see another example of a special engine for the Black Arrow satellite. This is the Waxwing Apogee Engine.

-In the three launches made by this vehicle there were several failures, including the total destruction of the first one.

Waxwing Apogee Engine
“Waxwing Apogee Engine”