"Rocket Power Plants Based on Nitric Acid and Their Specific Propulsive Weights"

by Helmut Zborowski
R-Antriebe, Schriften der Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahrtforschung


Rocket Power Plants Based on Nitric Acid and Their Specific Propulsive Weights

by Helmut Zborowski
R-Antriebe, Schriften der Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahrtforschung

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics [NACA] Technical Memorandum No. 1145
(Translation of "Raketentriebwerke auf der Salpetersäurebasis und ihr spezifischen Antriebsgewichte," Heft 1071, Nr. 82, 1943; May 1947)

An exceptional and rare document reporting the results of research and development work at the German BMW company during World War II.  It discusses the advantages (and disadvantages) using nitric acid as an energetic oxidizer for rocket engines. 

There is much information about dissolved nitrogen dioxide (NO2 or N2O4), to raise the oxidizer density and enhance hypergolic properties.  Also, there are details about suitable additives to effect a lower freezing point.  Complete information is given for nitric acid decomposition (including the corresponding thermochemical equations).

Extensive graphs and charts illustrate consumptions, temperatures, reactivity, Isp, and specific weights of nitric acid use with alcohol, orthotoluidine, and other rocket fuels.  Combustion chamber pressures, feed systems, operating considerations--including suitable metals, alloys, and other materials (ceramics, baked enamels, coatings and caulkings, mainly developed by the I. G. Farben Industry Company)--are thoroughly investigated.  Exotic inert sealing liquids are also described.

Particular attention (along with 34 graphs, tables, charts, and photos) is given to comparing nitric acid with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and liquid oxygen (LOx).

The BMW 109-511 and BMW 109-548 engines (which powered the German Henschel Hs 298 air-to-sea [anti-ship] and the Ruhrstahl X-4 wire-guided air-to-air missiles, respectively) are described.  Photos of these engines in operation are also given, but are not of good quality. 

The advanced concept of a ramjet engine using nitric acid for additional energy is also discussed.

This is an exceptional book for everyone interested in rocket propulsion with hypergolic nitric acid oxidizer-fuel combinations.  It presents abundant data not available anywhere else, and is a fine handbook providing exceptional information for everyone who designs, builds, tests, or uses liquid-propellant rocket systems.

One of the 34 graphs and illustrations
(much smaller than in book)

Very hard to find and now long out-of-print, this new limited edition has been republished by the Rocket Science Institute.  It's printed with a high-resolution laser printer (not photocopied) on high-quality, bright-white, 24-pound, acid-free paper, and quality bound for years of reference use.  27 pages, large and easy-to-read 11" x 8-1/2" size.


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