Engineer Proves Rockets can run on Toffee
An engineer at the University of Hertfordshire helped to demonstrate to BBC1’s “Bang goes the Theory” audiences that rockets can run on toffee. Eur Ing Ray Wilkinson, Principal Lecturer in Aerospace Design and Rocket Propulsion at the University worked as a consultant to the show and worked with one of the show’s presenters, Jem Stansfield, to develop a hybrid rocket motor fueled by toffee to power a bicycle which can reach speeds of 30 miles-per-hour.
The team also used toffee to power a railway trolley which can reach speeds of 150 miles per hour. All of the important safety and performance testing was carried out at the University of Hertfordshire.
“We are obviously not proposing that rocket manufacturers or jet companies start thinking about using toffee to fuel their engines, but they could consider more environmentally-friendly materials,” Wilkinson said. “Rockets do not necessarily have to be run on materials derived from oil, as there may be alternatives that perform well and are very viable.”
Earlier this year, Wilkinson and a student team developed a rocket sled which has reached over 1,200 miles per hour in about a third of a second.
For more information: www.rockets.herts.ac.uk