The Science and Stuff Behind Rocket Engine Cars ?
A rocket engine car or land rocket vehicle is a vehicle which has rocket engines attached with them which gives them very high speeds and thus making them super fast.
A rocket engine car is basically a racing car used in various kinds of races, for example, a drag race and thus got the name rocket dragster.
So what is the difference between a rocket engine car and a jet engine car?
A jet engine is a turbomachine consist of complex machinery with heavy compressors and turbines to produce thrust from the incoming supply of air, they need a continuous air supply to work.
They can produce a thrust up to 60 tons and thus pushing the vehicle forward at higher speeds, they also use some extra liquid fuels to produce more acceleration and not only dependent on the thrust to make the vehicle move forward.
But unlike Jet engines, the Rocket engine is not that complex and made up of simple machinery which does not necessarily need the continuous supply of air to initiate combustion.
They use either a solid mixture or a solid mixture as a propellant to initiate combustion and have small nozzles for letting out the steam and generating thrust, which provide them with very high speeds and thrust up to 650 tons.
That’s why nowadays the rocket engine cars are preferred over jet engine cars as they are light and do not have any complex heavy machinery and thus having a high Thrust to weight ratio and in turn, providing more thrust and speed.
Fuel Efficiency of Rocket Engine Cars
As we know now that rocket engine cars need a propellant to initiate combustion and generating a large amount of thrust at the same thus consuming lots of fuel at the same time thus decreasing the fuel efficiency of rocket engine cars.
What are the propellants widely used and how they work?
The most widely used gaseous Propellants in their engine are hydrogen peroxide, nitrous oxide, and a cool compressed gaseous mixture for example if we take the example of hydrogen peroxide the process is as follows, first a mixture of hydrogen peroxide(H2O2) is passed through a decomposer and a catalyst to increase the decomposition rate of hydrogen peroxide which results in steam, oxygen for combustion and heat . The steam generated after the reaction is passed from the nozzle thus generating thrust.
H2O2 + Catalyst -> H2O(Stem) + 1/2(O2)
If the extra O2 generated in the expression is also used for combustion and generating extra speed the engine is called Bipropellant rocket engines and if O2 is not burned, then the engine is called Monopropellant rocket engine
What is a hybrid rocket engine car?
The hybrid rocket engine car is a car which uses a hybrid rocket engine, see how simple is that.
But now the second question which comes into our mind is that what is a hybrid rocket engine, The hybrid rocket engine is something which uses two motors one with liquid propellant and other one uses solid propellant thus providing us some of the qualities of a liquid propellant engine as well as solid propellant engine and thus saving us from some disadvantages of both engines .
It avoids some of the disadvantages of a solid propellant engine like propellant handling and some disadvantages of a liquid propellant engine like its mechanical complexity because its difficult to for the fuel and oxidizer to be mixed properly as they are of different states in a liquid propellant engine.
BloodHound SSC fastest hybrid engine car
Bloodhound SSC is the fastest hybrid car produced by the company called nammo, It’s in the Guinness book for world land speed record.
It has hybrid engines attached below its eurojet(EJ200) jet engines, it has two variant one with one hybrid monopropellant which is an 800mph model and other with a cluster of 3 hybrid engine which is 1000 mph model.
Bloodhound SSC is intended to be purely hybrid rocket engine car but still has one jet engine attached to it as it provides more stability and is easy handle and throttle.
The Bloodhound SSC uses hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer and synthetic rubber as fuel as these are less reactive materials and thus avoids the complexities of handling fuel, first the hydrogen peroxide is forced into the chamber with added catalyst thus decomposing the hydrogen peroxide into steam, oxygen and produce lots of heat which are used to burn the fuel and with the help of oxygen the fuel burn more vigorously thus producing more heat and the steam developed was passed through a nozzle thus producing tremendous amount of thrust force.
Tesla rocket rodster
In the race of developing next-gen rocket engine cars, Tesla is not far behind as Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it himself that the next big project of the company was to add 10 small rocket thrusters to Tesla next-gen roadster, It sounds like a joke but Mr. Musk was totally positive about this, He said that this project is going to take Tesla roadsters to the next level as they will have more speed, control and as well as improve the brakes .
SpaceX option package for new Tesla Roadster will include ~10 small rocket thrusters arranged seamlessly around car. These rocket engines dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking & cornering. Maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2018