Celtic Kane

Engine Design

Why worry about engine design? Let’s build!

Just hold your horses. Before you even think about the design of your rocket, you have to think about your engine design. How many engines do you want? Typically rockets just have one engine…but if you’re feeling adventurous you can always make what’s called a cluster engine, which has two or more engines. For those who are penny-pinchers (like myself), the cost per launch is also a factor. When I say cost per launch I essentially mean how much the engines cost.

Who cares how much they cost?

The engines cost money — usually they come in packs of three, and they’re around five to ten bucks per pack. Engines can become especially pricy if you’re making a cluster engine — so just be conscious of how much you’re willing to spend each time you want to see your rocket fly up into the air.

For my project, I decided to use one C engine, which came out to less than $2 per launch, which was within my budget. The cluster engines seemed extremely cool, but the price per launch was just to high for what I was willing to spend.

How do I know what type of engine to use?

Personally I don’t see a need for the A or B engines because if I’m going to build a rocket I want it to go high. The difference between the C and the D engine is price and the fact that the D is quite a bit large in diameter and length. At this point you don’t need to worry about the size of the engine unless you plan on making a really small rocket.

How does the engine fit into the body?

That’s where the engine block comes in — essentially an engine block is two or more rings that are connected to the body tube that support the engine so the diameter of your body tube is not dictated by the diameter of the engine. If you want to skip straight to the engine block step, click here

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