Encyclopedia Astronautica
Gamma 8

Bristol Siddley H2O2/Kerosene rocket engine. 234.8 kN. Out of production. Isp=265s. Used on Black Arrow launch vehicle. First flight 1969.

Gamma engines were manufactured by Bristol Siddley and used on the Black Knight and Black Arrow launch vehicles. Propellants were High Test Peroxide and Kerosene. Black Knight used 4 chambers in two pairs on the Y and Z axes. The motors were gimballed to provide thrust in all axes.

Black Arrow was a three stage vehicle. The first stage had an 8 chamber layout with 4 pairs of Gamma engines gimballed as with Black Knight giving thrust in all axes. The second stage had two Gamma chambers with extended nozzles to give full expansion in vacuum. Both engines were gimballed to provide thrust in three axes.

Thrust (sl): 222.400 kN (49,998 lbf). Thrust (sl): 22,680 kgf. Engine: 342 kg (753 lb). Chamber Pressure: 47.40 bar. Thrust to Weight Ratio: 70.0146198830409. Oxidizer to Fuel Ratio: 8.2.

Status: Out of production.
Unfuelled mass: 342 kg (753 lb).
Diameter: 1.98 m (6.49 ft).
Thrust: 234.80 kN (52,785 lbf).
Specific impulse: 265 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 251 s.
Burn time: 142 s.
Number: 4 .

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Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Black Arrow British orbital launch vehicle. Britain's only indigenous launch vehicle. Following cancellation of the project in July 1971, one final launch was permitted, which successfully placed the Prospero satellite in orbit. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Propellants
  • H2O2/Kerosene Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons. More...

  • Kudryavtseva, V M, ed., Zhidkostnikh Raketnikh Dvigatley, Visshaya Shkola, Moscow, 1993.

Associated Stages
  • Black Arrow-1 H2O2/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 14,104/1,070 kg. Thrust 234.82 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 265 seconds. More...

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