Saturday, October 13, 2007

Terrapin Nozzle

One of my all time favorite small sounding rockets has to be the Terrapin. Click here to see my earlier Terrapin post including pics and launch footage. Developed at the University of Maryland in the Mid '50s, it is a study in simplicity. It was a two stage vehicle that used existing motors, fins welded directly to the motor case, a zero length launcher, and had tremendous performance. One of the cooler pieces of Terrapin hardware has to be the nozzle from the booster. The booster was a modified Deacon motor. Here is a photo of another one of my favorite small rockets that used two Deacon motors for the initial boost. I have been doing some 3D modeling recently so I did a model of the Terrapin nozzle. I found a drawing of the Terrapin in Small Sounding Rockets which is a great book with a lot of drawings and photos. I wish the illustration quality was a little better, but I highly recommend it to any one interested in rockets/rocketry. The Terrapin nozzle appears to have been of all steel construction. It also appears to have had an O-ring seal between the nozzle and the casing liner and another between the nozzle and the casing. Retention appears to have been through a number of small roll pins (not shown in renders) I would love to see what one of these nozzles looked like after firing. Any additional info., photos, or corrections are welcome.
Anyway, here are the renders:

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