The 'BK Flamer' or B1 hybrid rocket motor, was the first hybrid rocket motor developed by MARS. Construction on this 40mm diameter hybrid rocket motor started in 1996, with the hybrid rocket motor static test fired from a remote private site for the first time in early 1997. Based on calculations, the BK Flamer (B1) hybrid rocket motor was originally expected to deliver around 140 Newtons of average thrust using liquid Nitrous Oxide oxidiser, and solid acrylic fuel. Data obtained from static and flight tests have shown that the hybrid motor delievers 135 Newtons of average thrust - very good performance for a 'first generation' hybrid rocket motor.
The BK Flamer (B1) hybrid rocket motor was flight tested for the first time in October 1998, in the Deimos-1 rocket, making it the first amateur (and possibly professional) UK built hybrid rocket to ever be launched in the UK. The hybrid rocket motor successfully lifted the Deimos-1 rocket to just short of 1000 feet altitude, before the rocket was recovered safely by parachute. The BK Flamer (B1) hybrid rocket motor has since been used to test and analyse a number of different hybrid motor characteristics in multiple static tests, namely:
- New fuel grain formulations (Polyethylene, Polyester, Metallised suspensions)
- A number of safe and reliable ignition methods
- Long burn testing