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  #1  
Old 09-03-2020, 10:45 PM
PeterAlway PeterAlway is offline
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Posts: 89
Default Book excerpt: The RS-82

It's rocket story time again. This time it's an excerpt from "Eighteen Rockets and Missiles of World War II."

Rockets of World War II

The RS-82

The Soviet Union (USSR) began the first sustained program of military rocketry development to come to fruition in World War II. The Soviet rocketeer N. I. Tikhomarov founded the “Laboratory for the development of the inventions of N. I. Tikhomarov” to work on war rockets with modern propellants in 1921. “Modern” rocket propellants meant anything but gunpowder—more specifically, double base propellants that used nitrocellulose (guncotton) as a major component. The double base propellant available in Russia at the time was a mix of nitrocellulose and trinitrotoluene (TNT), used as a gun charge. Tikhomarov’s group launched their first double base rocket in 1928. That year the group took the name Gas Dynamics Laboratory, or GDL. Tikhomarov died two years later.
For years, Soviet explosives makers struggled with the mass-production of high explosive double-base propellants. In the 1920’s they could make tubes 24 mm (0.94 in) in diameter with a small hole down the center, so the GDL designed a rocket around a cluster of seven sticks. With a bundle of propellant a bit over 72 mm (2.8 in) in diameter, plus about a 5 mm (0.2 in) casing thickness, a rocket's diameter came to 82 mm (3.2 in). This rocket took the name RS-82. The propellant sticks were short, less than 60 mm long, so four clusters were stacked end-to-end for a total of 28 propellant grains.
To make larger rockets, the GDL tried adding an outer ring of twelve tubes of nitrocellulose-TNT around the central seven to create clusters of 19 sticks of propellant. Five clusters stacked end-to-end became the heart of a larger rocket with an outside diameter of 132 mm (5.2 in). The larger rocket took the name RS-132. Both rockets were unrestricted-burning or loose charge rockets—the propellant grains burned on all outside and inside surfaces, held in place by a trap, or grid, between the grain and the nozzle.
By 1933, the GDL tested the rockets—the RS-82 could reach 5 km (3 mi), and the RS-132 had a range of 6 km (4 mi). But the Soviet explosives plants of the time could not produce enough propellant to make the rockets practical weapons. Also in 1933, the GDL merged with Sergei Korolev's GIRD group. Ideally by joining forces under the Armaments Ministry, the new organization, the Reaction Science Research Institute (RNII in Russian), the two groups could advance rocketry more effectively. However, there was a clash of cultures between the GIRD space enthusiasts, who preferred liquid propellants, and the GDL artillery experts who preferred solids.
Under Stalin’s regime, reasonable disagreements over technical matters turned to life-and-death political struggles. In the late 1930’s, RNII’s director, and chief advocate for solid propellant work, Ivan Kleimenov, was arrested and executed, while liquid propellant expert Sergei Korolev was imprisoned. Many others shared those fates. Liquid propellant rockets faded into the background, while the remaining RNII engineers managed to continue solid propellant work.
In 1935, after considerable effort, Soviet explosives manufacturers were able to match Western propellant technology, producing a ballistite-type double base propellant made of nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose. They could now extrude full length propellant grains for RNII, who loaded them into their 82- and 132 mm rockets. The Air Force tested the RS-82 on aircraft in December of 1937, and formally adopted the weapons in July of 1938.
The eight-bladed propeller at the nose of the RS-82 was part of the detonating fuze (traditionally spelled with a “z” when referring to a detonator for high explosives)—after a pre-determined number of rotations, when the rocket was clear of the launching aircraft, it would arm the fuze, which would detonate the explosive ogive head on contact with its target. The cylindrical section held the propellant sticks; a button lug at either end of the tube engaged with a rail mounted on the aircraft (some sources show an extra pair of lugs on opposite side to balance the drag). A conical boattail concealed a de Laval nozzle (a high-efficiency nozzle, sometimes called a venturi, used in most rockets from the post-gunpowder era), and held four fins, each made of two corrugated stamped metal sides welded together.
In August of 1939, the RS-82 saw action in the battle of Khalkin Gol in the skies over China. Polikarpov I-16 fighter planes armed with the rockets shot down a total of 19 Japanese aircraft. When the Soviets joined the war in Europe, their aircraft used RS-82 rockets against German tanks with some success. The rockets were notoriously inaccurate, but they could destroy a tank with a direct hit. The larger RS-132 could knock out a tank with a near miss.
After World War II started the next year, the Soviet Air Force equipped their fighter planes with RS-82 and RS-132 rockets, preferring them over standard bombs for ground attack. Even before the Soviet Union entered the war, RNII had begun converting these rockets for ground launching. The ground-launched version of the RS-82 became the M-8, while the ground-launched version of the RS-132 became the famous M-13 Katyusha rocket.

RS-82 Specifications
Length: 60 cm (23.6 in)
Diameter: 8.2 cm (3.2 in)
Weight: 7.92 kg (22 lb)
Warhead weight: 2.78 kg (6.1 lb)
Propellant weight: 1.18 kg (2.6 lb)
Range: 5.5 km (3.4 mi)
Thrust: 4000 N (900 lb)
Duration: 0.6 sec
Total impulse: 2400 N-s (540 lb-s)
NAR designation: K 4000



The drawing depicts the middle rocket below:





And because I'm not teaching this fall, and have bills to pay:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535...f46b6d43f_c.jpg

ARA Press, ASP Rocketry, and eRockets also carry the booklets, if you don't want to deal with mailing a check.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2020, 08:18 PM
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5x7 5x7 is offline
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You have to love a rocket with a propellor!

Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2020, 08:37 PM
PeterAlway PeterAlway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5x7
You have to love a rocket with a propellor!


Yeah, it does make it an appealing subject. I suppose one might even go for the flat-finned version if those fin corrugations are too hard.
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2020, 09:06 PM
snaquin snaquin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAlway
Yeah, it does make it an appealing subject. I suppose one might even go for the flat-finned version if those fin corrugations are too hard.
Peter thanks so much for posting this. That is a very interesting and unique rocket indeed. I’ll need to check out the online vendors that you listed to check out some of your books soon.

Enjoyed your talk at the NAR Manufacturers Forum
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2020, 10:12 PM
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Chas Russell Chas Russell is offline
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AKA Nose Fuse of Mk 82 series conventional weapon.

Chas "NCOIC Weapons Release" 7MMS (years ago)
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2020, 10:37 PM
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tbzep tbzep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAlway
Yeah, it does make it an appealing subject. I suppose one might even go for the flat-finned version if those fin corrugations are too hard.

Those fins look like a good workout for folks with 3D printers.



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  #7  
Old 09-07-2020, 10:36 PM
PeterAlway PeterAlway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Those fins look like a good workout for folks with 3D printers..



I have to agree. I see a lot of 3-D printed parts that could be turned on lathe or drill in less time that it takes to clean up the rough surfaces on all the 3-D prints I've touched. Those fins, on the other hand, would be a big chore to fabricate by conventional modeling means.
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