NEW: AeroTech vs. Clark County Lawsuit Information & Resources
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J350W-L Motor Certification

Tripoli Motor Testing (Mark Clark, Chair) is pleased to announce the certification of the J350W motor with modified 1/2 inch core grains. This motor is considered a new certification and has the following parameters:

TMT Metric - J445(3% J)
Case - 38/720
Propellant Weight - 361.1 grams
Nozzle Throat - .292"
Total Thrust - 670 NS
Max Thrust - 822.5 NS
Avg Thrust - 445 NS
Burn Time - 1.5 seconds
Certified until 31 Dec 2005

All motors using grains with labels indicating ".5 inch core" and "J350 use only" are now usable at all Tripoli Rocketry Association, National Association of Rocketry and Canadian Association of Rocketry events and are approved for Level 2 certifications. Older reload kits with the original .42 inch core grains will continue to be certified under the original documents until 30 December 2002 or until re-certified by AeroTech.

J350W-L Certification PDF

Utah Facility Update

AeroTech is pleased to provide the following update on the status of its new propellant and rocket motor manufacturing facility in Cedar City, Utah.

The anticipated completion date of the Utah facility continues to be delayed due to the insurance company's failure to pay legitimate insurance claims in a timely manner. AeroTech is investigating legal remedies to help expedite this process.

As of Monday, October 30 most of the door handles were installed and much of the painting was complete. A removable section of mezzanine safety railing that was critical to the granting of occupancy had been installed. The exterior AP storage bunker was still awaiting roof and door installation, and other areas of the building such as the high power motor magazine bunker and the enclosed static test cell were still in various stages of completion. Click here to see the latest photos on the AeroTech Cedar City Facility Progress page.

Contract manufacturing at Ellis Mountain Rocket Works is planned to continue until the Utah facility is fully operational.

AeroTech appreciates its customers' patience as it looks forward to realizing its goal of resuming full production at the earliest opportunity, and filling all backorders in the shortest time possible thereafter.

AeroTech Responds to the Nevada Department of Public Safety Report

In the aftermath of the tragic events of October 15, 2001, the Clark County Executive asked that the Nevada Department of Public Safety conduct an investigation into "the actions of the Clark County Fire Department before, during and after the fire that occurred at AeroTech." The report resulting from that investigation was released by Clark County on August 9, 2002...
Download Full PDF Here

AeroTech Lawsuit to Proceed
Judge Pro Rules in Favor of AeroTech on Key Issues

In an order issued August 26, 2002, Federal District Judge Philip Pro ruled that AeroTech's Civil rights lawsuit against Clark County would proceed. The lawsuit against Clark County, the Clark County Fire Department, Fire Chief Earl Green, two named Clark County fire inspectors and Titanium Metals Corporation was originally filed by AeroTech in March 2002. Almost immediately, each of the defendants filed separate motions to dismiss the case in its entirety based on a variety of arguments...
Download Full PDF Here

J350W Field Modifications/Warranty Procedures

AeroTech is offering two options for those individuals currently in possession of J350W reloads. A percentage of these reload grains manufactured between 5/1/02 and 7/4/02 may have been compromised by environmental conditions, during manufacture, which may lead to failure shortly after ignition. An indication of this condition would be grains that are excessively soft or “spongy”.

The two options consist of:
1. Grain replacement with new grains as they become available from our Utah facility later this summer.
2. Field modification of the (harder) grains. This procedure has been field tested at LDRS and has been formally submitted to Tripoli as a manufacturer approved modification.

For those grains which are deemed suspect and are not felt to be hard enough for the field modification, AeroTech will ship replacement grains to high power dealers for distribution from their stores or at launches.

Consumers wishing to have the grains replaced need to contact AeroTech warranty at or (fax) 702-641-1883. Please include the following information: number of reloads, date purchased, purchased from, to which dealer should be the replacement grains be sent to and any other information deemed pertinent to the warranty.

The field modification consists of the following:
Older (harder) grains may be modified by the end user by drilling, with a 1/2” diameter twist drill, BY HAND ONLY.
This is performed by twisting the drill bit half way through from both ends of the grain and then reaming through to completion.
All grains for the motor should be drilled to the same 1/2” diameter although field experience has shown that only one or two grains , drilled to 1/2” and placed at the nozzle end of the motor resulted in no failures.
Shavings generated by this operation should be disposed by burning (using electric ignition) in an isolated area, observing prudent fire precautions.

The White Lightning™ propellant currently being cast in Texas has been reformulated to increase hardness and the new J350W grains will be machined to .500” (1/2 inch core diameter). New J350W grains made after July 16th will be identified for use with J350W motors only and will have distinctive new labels on the grains and on the 12-pack box of grains.

The new propellant facility in Utah will be climate controlled and will provide the permanent solution to this issue.

AeroTech sincerely regrets any inconvenience to it’s customers due to this situation.

Any questions with regards to this e-mail can be directed to Mike Martens at or by phone (702-) 641-2301.

AeroTech Statement on J350W Reliability and Warranty Issues

AeroTech wishes to inform its customers that it has identified an issue with 38mm White Lightning propellant grains manufactured between 5/1/02 and 6/5/02. These are grains that were manufactured with the assistance of Ellis Mountain Motor Works in Texas, and were shipped in boxes identifying them for use with H123W, I161W, I211W, I284W and J350W reload parts kits. The problem appears to only involve the above mentioned grains when used in conjunction with a J350W reload parts kit.

An unusually high percentage of J350W motors loaded with the suspect grains have been reported to fail catastrophically at ignition. The direct cause of this anomaly appears to be "critical modulus failure", in which the aft (nozzle end) grain is deformed during operation and constricts the core opening to the point where the pressure inside the motor casing exceeds design limits.

AeroTech is still researching the cause of the problem, and believes that it may be related to increased moisture at the point of manufacture interfering with the propellant binder cure reaction. Some customers have related that the suspect grains have a "spongy" or "soft" consistency, which would normally be evidence of cure interference. Soft propellant is more vulnerable to critical modulus failure in long motor designs like the J350W.

Adjustments have been made to the White Lightning propellant formulation to increase its hardness, and grains using this propellant are being delivered to AeroTech's dealers at LDRS-21. Several J350W motors have been tested using the harder propellant with no failures. Boxes containing the harder propellant grains can be identified with the "J350W" marking on the box label highlighted in yellow. Labels on boxes containing the softer propellant have the "J350W" designation blacked out and MUST NOT be used with J350W reload parts kits. Please see your AeroTech dealer for replacement or exchange of the suspect propellant grains. NOTE: The grains in the highlighted 38mm grain boxes may also be used with the other 38mm White Lightning reload parts kits.

AeroTech apologizes to its customers for any problems this issue has caused them. The J350W has historically been one of AeroTech's most popular and reliable high power motors. It is AeroTech's policy to continue to innovate and improve existing products including reducing rates of failure. AeroTech's customers can be assured that AeroTech will fulfill its warranty obligations related to failures of the J350W or any other AeroTech product. AeroTech has placed a special order for 38/720 motor hardware in anticipation of receiving J350W warranty claims.

AeroTech Announces Availability of the Largest Certified High-Power Motor, the N4800T

AeroTech is pleased to announce the availability of the largest certified high-power Reloadable Motor System (RMS
), the RMS-98/18000 N4800T. Originally developed for the Gates Brothers for use in their Porthos II rocket flown at last year's Black Rock XIII launch, the N4800T will soon be available to the general certified flying public. This motor sets new standards for high-power rocketry with performance and design features never before available.

See the N4800T in action at the following web address:

The N4800T has been tested by the Tripoli Motor Testing (TMT) committee and has been granted Tripoli certification. Technical specifications are as follows:
Hardware designation: RMS-98/18000
Reload designation: N4800T
Case diameter: 98mm (3.875”)
Case length: 47.5”
Loaded weight: 33.0 pounds
Propellant weight: 21.1 pounds
Propellant type: Blue Thunder
Mass fraction: 0.64
Initial thrust: 1,483 pounds
Peak thrust: 1,483 pounds
Total impulse: 4,353 pound-seconds (19,361 N-sec)
Burn time: 4.5 seconds
Specific impulse (delivered): 206.3 seconds

The N4800T uses a single propellant grain with a partial slotted-tube grain geometry bonded directly into a phenolic liner. The grain has a small center perforation for high volumetric efficiency with cruciform slots running approximately 1/3 length of the core on the aft end to boost initial thrust and create a more neutral time-thrust profile. The N4800T produces nearly 1,500 lbs. of thrust at ignition, then gradually regresses until burnout. A head-end "instant-on" ignition system is being researched and is planned for availability as an option late in 2002.

The N4800T is perfect for use in large and heavy rockets flown to moderate altitudes, but can also be used in minimum diameter airframes to achieve extreme altitudes and velocities that were previously unattainable in high-power rocketry.

Because of its special design characteristics, the N4800T will be sold as a complete "factory loaded" assembly shipped in a UN4C wooden crate. After use, the motor hardware is cleaned and returned in its crate to AeroTech for reloading. The N4800T will be available via special order through AeroTech's existing high-power motor distribution network. AeroTech will begin accepting pre-orders immediately in order to plan production at its new Cedar City, Utah motor manufacturing plant. Delivery of motors is scheduled for the fall 2002 flying season. Please contact your favorite Restricted Access
dealer for motor and factory reload pricing.

Important Dealer Note: The N4800T is a Restricted Access
product which requires that you have a copy of your low explosive dealer license (LEDL) on file with AeroTech before placing an order for this or any Restricted Access product. And all out-of-state sales of Restricted Access products must be to appropriately certified NAR or Tripoli members who possess a valid low explosive user permit (LEUP).

If you have any questions regarding the N4800T or would like information about other currently available AeroTech Consumer Aerospace products, please visit our website at or contact Mike Martens by calling (702) 641-2301 weekdays from 8-5 pm PST.

Related PDF's
Thrust curve
Pressure curve
TRA Certification



Until further notice AeroTech will not be able to accept motor orders directly from consumers. Direct orders for kits and parts are welcome and will continue to be processed from the Las Vegas office

Download the 2001-2002 AeroTech Catalog


New AeroTech Hobbyshop Video added.

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December 28-29
Tripoli Michiana
Location: Three Oaks, MI
Sponsor: Tripoli Michiana
Contact: Tim Hansford

December 28-29

Tripoli Quad Cities Sport Launch
Location: Van Orin, Illinois
Sponsor: Tripoli Quad Cities #39
Contact: Tim Lehr

January 4-5
Cleveland,OH area (N.E.OHIO)
Tri-City Sky Busters Rocketry Club NAR#535
Contact: Gerrry Freed
Phone: (216) 476-2496

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