Rocket vs FPV drone: dynamic takeoff of ARCAspace's unique EcoRocketRocket vs FPV drone: dynamic takeoff of ARCAspace's unique EcoRocket

Rocket vs FPV Drone

On Novem­ber 12, ARCA­space suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed test­ing of the sec­ond stage of its unique Eco­Rock­et rock­et. Despite the fact that the event itself is impor­tant for all mankind, the record­ed video from the FPV drone added enter­tain­ment to this process, through which it was pos­si­ble to cap­ture the launch and dynam­ic rise of the Eco­Rock­et into the sky, allow­ing in the mean­time to record the first unof­fi­cial race between the drone and the rock­et. Fur­ther details about this event and the unique­ness of the project.

Cheerson CX-60: air dominatorCheerson CX-60: air dominator


ARCA­space (Roman­ian Asso­ci­a­tion of Cos­mo­nau­tics and Aero­nau­tics) is an aero­space com­pa­ny based in Roma­nia. The com­pa­ny was found­ed in 1999 by Dumitru Popes­cu. Since its found­ing, the devel­op­er has made sev­er­al attempts to cre­ate var­i­ous projects, includ­ing a sub­or­bital space­craft for the Ansari X Prize com­pe­ti­tion and sev­er­al rock­ets.

ARCA is cur­rent­ly devel­op­ing the Eco­Rock­et rock­et. The three-stage Eco­Rock­et (orig­i­nal­ly planned as a two-stage rock­et) uses hydro­gen per­ox­ide and kerosene in the third stage, but the first two stages take an even more unique approach to propul­sion. The first and sec­ond stages of a rock­et use water and a sta­bi­liz­ing agent. In addi­tion to the water/steam propul­sion sys­tem, the rock­et for­goes the tra­di­tion­al noz­zle design in favor of a cir­cu­lar aero­dy­nam­ic thruster.

Cheerson CX-60: air dominatorCheerson CX-60: air dominator

Con­ven­tion­al engines are designed with a noz­zle opti­mized for a cer­tain height. Typ­i­cal­ly, the first stage of a rock­et uses an engine opti­mized for oper­a­tion at sea lev­el, and the sec­ond stage uses an engine opti­mized for oper­a­tion in a vac­u­um.

The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, Aerospike engines are much bet­ter at pro­duc­ing thrust at a wide range of alti­tudes, so one engine is opti­mized for any pres­sure, from sea lev­el to vac­u­um. Despite the the­o­ret­i­cal advan­tages, aero­space propul­sion has not been wide­ly adopt­ed. Typ­i­cal­ly, they run into prob­lems due to high pres­sure across the entire sur­face of the engine, which makes it dif­fi­cult to cool them down and leads to over­heat­ing.

*Tests of the Aerospike rock­et engine for the Launch Assist Sys­tem. The data from the sen­sors showed a 15% increase in spe­cif­ic impulse com­pared to the clas­sic bell-noz­zle rock­et engine test­ed ear­li­er.

Per­haps the low­er over­all tem­per­a­ture of the steam, com­pared to kerosene or hydro­gen in oth­er rock­ets, would make aero­space propul­sion more prac­ti­cal in this case. ARCA is going to use a typ­i­cal noz­zle in the third stage, which uses more tra­di­tion­al hot fuel. It’s cer­tain­ly an inter­est­ing con­cept, and the idea of ​​a reusable rock­et (yes, the first two stages of the rock­et are planned to be reusable) run­ning most­ly on clean pro­pel­lant is intrigu­ing, but whether this rock­et will ever reach orbit remains in ques­tion — both tech­no­log­i­cal­ly and for bureau­crat­ic rea­sons.

For exam­ple, the first orbital test of Eco­Rock­et was sup­posed to take place in ear­ly Octo­ber over the Black Sea, but the com­pa­ny said: “The Roman­ian Civ­il Avi­a­tion Author­i­ty wrong­ful­ly denied ARCA per­mis­sion to launch, absurd­ly stat­ing that they had no author­i­ty in Roman­ian-con­trolled air­space, as a result caus­ing Eco­Rock­et’s maid­en flight to be resched­uled to Jan­u­ary 2022.”

How­ev­er, despite the fact that the full-fledged launch of the rock­et was post­poned, the com­pa­ny con­duct­ed a test flight of the sec­ond stage ear­li­er this month.

Cheerson CX-60: air dominatorCheerson CX-60: air dominator

Drone vs EcoRocket

On Novem­ber 12, the com­pa­ny con­duct­ed a teth­ered test flight of the sec­ond stage of the Eco­Rock­et to col­lect more data on the air­craft’s flight per­for­mance and to increase con­fi­dence in the Jan­u­ary launch. ARCA has installed a lot of cam­eras around the launch pad, but per­haps the most inter­est­ing footage comes from a cam­era on board the FPV drone.

He con­trolled the livyu_fpv drone. The flight poten­tial of the drone was enough for about the first ten sec­onds, after which the rock­et con­fi­dent­ly began to move away, but the view from the onboard action cam­era in the imme­di­ate vicin­i­ty of the rock­et is some­thing that we will not see when launch­ing stan­dard reg­u­lar rock­ets.


By Yara