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Starchaser Industries LTD - Unit 7 - Hyde Point - Dunkirk Lane - Hyde - Cheshire - SK14 4NL
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On 11th May 2005 Starchaser's Churchill Mk3 rocket engine was
officially unveiled and displayed at Salford University to mark the
opening of the new Joule Physics Laboratory.


The new combustion chamber / exhaust nozzle for the prototype
Churchill Mk 3 arrived at the factory just before the Christmas

Designed to produce an average thrust of 15 tonnes, the new Lox /
Kerosene bipropellant engine is some five times more powerful
than its predecessor, the Churchill Mk2.

The Mk 3 will qualify as the largest liquid propellant engine to be
fired in the UK in over 30 years, when tested later this year.


The combustion chamber, engine bell and outer cooling jacket are
now complete.

A slight problem at the pipe-fitter sub-contractors resulted in a hold
up with the Fuel Inlet Manifold but this problem is expected to be
resolved within the next couple of days.

We will then be able to take delivery of our new 147 KN (33,000 lbf)
liquid propellant rocket engine.

CHURCHILL MK3 UPDATE - September 2004

Work on the Churchill Mk3 engine is continuing.

We've ordered the metal for the injector plate but are still having
trouble finding a company able to 'drill' the required number of
holes! Now there's a challenge to British industry.

We are expecting to take delivery of the completed combustion
chamber some time in the next few days - we'll create a small
gallery once this is on site.


Production of the CHURCHILL Mk3 rocket engine is progressing

Many of the engine sections have been rolled and prepared for

Figure 1.0 shows the combustion chamber, the cooling jacket, the
engine/injector plate flange and the fuel feed pipe.

Figure 1.1 shows a close-up of the film cooling holes that will spray
fuel on the engine throat to provide additional cooling (film cooling).

The next phase of production will see the combustion chamber,
throat and nozzle sections welded together and axial wires welded
to the outside of the combustion chamber to form the cooling

Once the inner chamber and cooling channels have been
completed the next task will be to cut and weld over the outer
cooling jacket, and install the new kerosene manifold on the end of
the nozzle to complete the engine.

The injector plate is yet to be started as we are having difficulty
finding a suitable laser system capable of drilling the angled
kerosene injector holes.

Hopefully this problem will be resolved shortly so we can move
towards the first test firing.


Manchester, United Kingdom, 17th May 2004: Starchaser
Industries announce the start of production of their CHURCHILL Mk
3 liquid propellant rocket engine. The new engine is designed to
deliver some 15 tonnes of usable thrust for a burn time of up to 70
seconds. Two such engines will be used to power the
STARCHASER 5 Reusable Launch Vehicle on its sub-orbital
journey into space.

Starchaser's propulsion development programme has followed a
structured and incremental approach. The first CHURCHILL rocket
engine, the Mk 1, underwent an extensive series of tests including
5 static firings and produced the specified 0.5 tonnes of thrust. The
Mk 1 provided validated data from which to build the larger
CHURCHILL Mk 2 rocket engine.

The Mk 2 followed a similar series of 7 static test firings which
culminated in a long duration burn of 53 seconds. This engine
performed perfectly and proved the reusability of the engine. The
Mk 2 developed 3-tonnes of thrust and provided crucial data for the
design of the Mk 3 rocket engine.

The CHURCHILL Mk 3 rocket engine builds upon the extensive
experience gained from the Mk 1 and Mk 2 engines and proves the
validity of Starchaser's step-by-step approach to rocket engine
development. All three engines are powered using the same liquid
oxygen / kerosene bi-propellant combination that took Apollo to the

The CHURCHILL family of rocket engines have been developed in
house at Starchaser with component manufacture being sub-
contracted to various specialist machining companies within the
UK. All three engines are regeneratively cooled using the kerosene
fuel, which first passes through the cooling jacket before being
injected into the combustion chamber. The cooling is so efficient
that following the long duration burn of the Mk 2, the engine was
only mildly warm to the touch.

Starchaser Industries are working closely with leading UK
universities on the production of the CHURCHILL Mk 3 injector
plate. The plate has over 1000 small diameter, angled, injector
holes arranged in a series of patterns. The final stages of research
into the laser drilling of the injector holes is close to completion
with production scheduled to start shortly.


The design of the engine has been completed and we have given
the design drawings to some engineering companies. We are
awaiting quotes from them for construction.

Some more advanced nickel alloys have had to be employed to
enable the large engine to be made safely. Because these alloys
are more difficult to work with than the previous stainless steel
grades used for Churchill Mk1 and 2, it has proven more difficult to
find companies that have experience working with the material.

Also, the large number of injector holes in this engine means that
the injector plate must be drilled largely using lasers.

So the technical challenges have increased significantly with the
increase in size of the engine, but we are now confident that we
have found sufficient expertise to be able to begin manufacture,
probably in the New Year.

If any companys feel they have the expertise - equipment -
components that we could use / incorperate into our new designs,
please dont hesitate to get in touch. Sponsorship / involvement can
begin at any level.

For more information on how you could help have a look at our
partners section of the web site.




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