New Entertainment Sports League To Fly With New Rocket Engine
The Rocket Racing League announced Wednesday the successful
results of the first three test flights of the Bridenstine DKNY
Rocket Racer now equipped with liquid oxygen (LOX)-alcohol engines
manufactured by Armadillo Aerospace, a leading developer of
reusable rocket powered vehicles based in Mesquite, TX.
The test flights mark a new milestone for the League, occurring
one month after the
first public demonstration flights of the Rocket Racer at
the 2008 EAA Oshkosh AirVenture. That racer was
powered by a pump-fed, liquid oxygen and kerosene fueled powerplant
developed by XCOR Aerospace... whereas the Armadillo engine is
pressure-fed, and uses alcohol and LOX as propellants.
The Rocket Racer test flights with the Armadillo rocket engine
were conducted at the Clinton Sherman Industrial Airpark in Burns
Flat, OK on August 25 and 26, and were piloted by Rocket Racing
League test pilot Len Fox. Each of the three test flights averaged
about 10 minutes, with a top speed of 190 knots.
"Armadillo is an important partner to the Rocket Racing League
and we’re thrilled with our initial test flights," said
Rocket Racing League founder and CEO Granger Whitelaw. "We’ve
made great strides this year, from announcing the acquisition of
Velocity Aircraft, to our DKNY sponsorship, and our first public
demonstration flights at AirVenture. Now that we’ve
successfully conducted a test flight with the Armadillo engine, we
are looking forward to getting to racing and exhibiting a 21st
century sport for the 21st century sports fan."
Additional test flights of the Rocket Racer equipped with the
Armadillo rocket engine will be conducted in the coming weeks. A
first public demonstration race is tentatively scheduled for the
2008 Reno Air Races this September, pending approval from the
Federal Aviation Administration.
John Carmack, President of Armadillo Aerospace added,
"We’re happy to share in the success of the Rocket Racer test
flights now equipped with our engines. In addition to these test
flights, we have done about 75 test burns, all to secure the safety
of the aircraft. Now we’re aiming to build at least five more
engines for the Rocket Racing League and continue our mission of
providing a system that will not only be cost effective and robust
for the teams involved, but safe for the pilots and the thousands
of fans in attendance at Rocket Racing League events."
As ANN reported, the RRL announced in April
that Armadillo would supply engines for the league, in addition to
XCOR. Armadillo Aerospace is a leading developer of reusable VTVL
(vertical takeoff, vertical landing) suborbital research and
passenger vehicles, with an eye towards eventual paths to
(Photos provided by James Bauer/Armadillo Aerospace,
courtesy of Rocket Racing League)