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Tempest is a Public Missiles kit that is designed to be flown on a Hypertek J hybrid motor. For parachute deployment I used an Adept ALTS-25 altimeter.  I also used a home built G-switch timer for ejection back up and a Walston transmitter for location finding.  Tempest was built and first flown in the spring of 1996. 

Tempest  Specifications

Length: 5 feet, 2 inches
Diameter: 2.685 inches
Weight: 4.25 pounds without motor
Motor: 54mm mount accommodates Hypertek 440cc tank and J-grain.
Altimeters: Adept ALTS-25 plus homemade G-switch timer as a back-up.
Locator: Walston radio transmitter (mounted in the nose cone)
Payload: none
Parachute: Rocketman R7
Built: Spring 1996
First Flight: May 11, 1996 on J100 motor at Teapot Dome (Idaho) launch site
Construction: Body tube: 2.6-inch diameter PML phenolic

Fins:  1/16-inch G10 fiberglass

Nose cone:  plastic PML "intellicone"

 

Tempest Launch Photos

Click on any photo to see a larger version of it.
Tempest on the launch pad at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1998

 

My hybrid rocket (a modified PML Tempest) is on the launch pad at Bonneville Salt Flats during LDRS-17 in August of 1998.  This rocket has a Hypertek motor system that burns liquid nitrous oxide (N20) as the oxidizer and ABS black plastic as the fuel. It uses an Adept ALTS-2 altimeter for apogee deployment.  It also uses a home built G-switch timer for ejection backup and a Walston transmitter for radio finding.  (The Walston unit was of course not needed at the Salt Flats. There is nothing there for the rocket to hide behind!)

Tempest launch on J145 hybrid motor.

Lift-off of the PML Tempest on a J145 HyperTek Hybrid motor.  This motor produces very little smoke!   There is also a complete lack of tracking smoke once the motor burns out.  Still it's a very nice system and a little cheaper per flight than the solid propellant motors.  Peak altitude at Bonneville Salt Flats was 3139 feet.

I don't have video of the PML Tempest flight, but I do have a very short launch video of another hybrid rocket that is my modified RocketMan Hybrid Dart.  The video for that rocket (also on a J145 motor) is available here.

Tempest on the launch pad at LDRS-16 in Hartsel Colorado

Close up of my hybrid rocket on my launch pad at LDRS-16 in Hartsel Colorado.  You can see the fill stem inserted into the motor to supply the nitrous oxide for filling the on-board flight tank. The vent hole on the side of the rocket is where the liquid nitrous will begin to vent once the on-board tank is full. Two small hoses connect into fittings just below the horizontal blast deflector.  One hose supplies liquid nitrous and the other one supplies pure gaseous oxygen that is used to ignite the motor.  A high voltage transformer is in the gray box hanging just under the angled blast defector.  A spark from this transformer is used to ignite the motor. The launch pad itself is made from regular plumbing pipes and associated elbows and tees.  The launch rod is held in place by a 1/2 inch drill chuck.

Vern with Tempest

Photo by Mary Nielsen

This is me with my first Hypertek hybrid motor rocket.  This is a stock built PML Tempest kit that I first flew on May 11, 1996.  This was the first hybrid launched in Idaho.  I used the small orifice for maximum thrust duration. This is the J100 configuration.  The ALTS-2 altimeter reported 4523 feet.  Unfortunately, after many flights, this rocket eventually crashed due to a torn shock cord on a less than totally vertical flight.  When I built a new one, I stretched it about 10 inches.  The stock Tempest kit is, in my opinion, a bit short on room for the parachute and recovery harness. I also switched to tubular nylon and threw away the elastic shock cord.

Tempest on the launch pad in May 1996 First hybrid launch in Idaho on May 11, 1996. First hybrid launch in Idaho.

May 11, 1996

Peak altitude was 4523 feet.

   
Tempest wreckage

The Tempest had many successful flights but this is what you get when an elastic shock cord eventually breaks! Tubular nylon is a much better choice for large rockets.

 
 

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 All photos not otherwise credited were taken by Vern Knowles

Vern Knowles 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 All Rights Reserved