World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

XCOR EZ-Rocket

Article Id: WHEBN0003968540
Reproduction Date:

Title: XCOR EZ-Rocket  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Dick Rutan, Mojave Air and Space Port, Rutan Long-EZ, Aviation records, Pages needing attention/Aerospace
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

XCOR EZ-Rocket

EZ-Rocket one week after its first flight
Cockpit. Engine on-off switches on left side panel are placarded "FWD - LOUD; BACK - QUIET"

The XCOR EZ-Rocket is a test platform for the XCOR rocket propulsion system. The airplane is a modified Rutan Long-EZ, with the propeller replaced by first one, then later a pair of pressure-fed regeneratively cooled liquid-fuelled rocket engines and an underslung fuel tank. The engines are restartable in flight, and are contained within Kevlar armor shielding. The EZ-Rocket is registered as an experimental aircraft.

EZ-Rocket was the first privately built and flown rocket-powered airplane, making its maiden flight in 2001.[1]


  • Development and history 1
  • Milestones and records 2
  • Derivatives 3
  • Specifications 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Development and history

The first flight took place on July 21, 2001, flown by test pilot Dick Rutan.

On a typical flight, the EZ-Rocket takes off on rockets, gains altitude for a minute or so, then switches off the rockets and glides to a deadstick landing.

The vehicle actually flies better during deadstick glide landings than a Long-EZ due to lack of drag from a stationary pusher propeller — the vehicle's aerodynamics are cleaner in spite of its belly tank. It is also lighter due to the lack of a piston engine (the rocket propulsion system is significantly lighter), so enjoys significantly lower wing loading than a stock Long-EZ.

XCOR registered it as a conventional aircraft, rather than a suborbital, because the vehicle is incapable of reaching the 100 km Kármán line altitude.

Milestones and records

EZ-Rocket, flown by Dick Rutan, touches down at California City, California on December 3, 2005, setting a point-to-point distance record for rocket-powered, ground-launched aircraft.
  • October 8, 2000 - First firing of an XCOR Aerospace LOX-powered rocket engine.[2]
  • July 21, 2001 - First flight, flown by Dick Rutan (single-engine configuration).[2]
  • October 6, 2001 - First flight in twin-engine configuration.[2]
  • July 24, 2002 - First touch-and-go of a rocket-powered aircraft (world record).[2]
  • December 3, 2005 - Set the point-to-point distance record for a ground-launched, rocket-powered aircraft, flying 16 km from Mojave to California City in just under ten minutes, flown by Dick Rutan.[3][4] Also first official delivery of U.S. Mail by a rocket-powered aircraft.[3] In recognition of this achievement, the FAI awarded Rutan the 2005 Louis Blériot Medal.[5]
  • December 15, 2005 - First arrival of a rocket-powered aircraft at the Mojave Spaceport on a flight originating at another airport, return flight from California City, piloted by Rick Searfoss.[3]
  • 2008: The XCOR EZ-Rocket X-Racer prototype rocketplane flew at the 2008 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh air show.[6]


The Rocket Racing League aircraft currently in development, the Mark-III X-racer, is a design descendant of the EZ-Rocket aircraft. Although XCOR is not the developer of the rocket engine for the Mark-III, XCOR did develop the rocket engine for the Mark-I X-Racer, the first of the X-Racers to use a single rocket engine on a Velocity SE basic airframe, and the first X-Racer to utilize kerosene instead of isopropyl alcohol fuel. XCOR used both design and operational experience from the EZ-Rocket in the Mark-I rocket aircraft design.


Twin rocket engines
Dick Rutan standing next to the engines of the EZ-Rocket
  • Two XR-4A3 400 pounds-force (1.8 kN) thrust rocket engines (non throttleable, restartable in flight)[7]
  • 20 sec 500 m takeoff roll
  • Vne = 195 kt
  • climb rate = 52 m/s (10,000 ft/min)
  • maximum altitude = 10,000 ft
  • Fuel : isopropyl alcohol and liquid oxygen
  • Chamber pressure : ~ 350 psi
  • specific impulse : 250 to 270 seconds
  • Noise: 128 dB at 10 meters[8]

See also


  1. ^ Knapp, Alex (2014-06-18). "Bootstrapping To The Stars". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d "First Flights - XCOR Aerospace". Mojave Virtual Museum. Retrieved 2006-11-13. 
  3. ^ a b c Deaver, Bill (2005-12-22). "XCOR EZ-Rocket makes more history at CalCity". Mojave Desert News. 
  4. ^ FAI Records
  5. ^ List of Blériot medals awarded to Dick Rutan
  6. ^ XCOR X-Racer, by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today, 2009-08-06, accessed 2010-04-26.
  7. ^ "LOX-Alcohol Rocket Engine". XCOR Aerospace, Inc. Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  8. ^ [2]

External links

  • The EZ-Rocket (XCOR)
  • howstuffworks: How the EZ-Rocket Works
  • Rocket Racing League
  • XCOR First Flights from Mojave Virtual Museum
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.