Many are unaware of the strides made by the early British Space Program which started in the 1950’s. One of the launch vehicles developed at that time was the Black Knight which was first launched in September 1958, with a total of 22 being launched before the program was cancelled.
The Crusade Rocketry team is planning to build and launch a 1:1 scale replica of the two-stage variant of the Black Knight Rocket from the UK (designated BK26). Our journey to build the replica, culminating in a spectacular launch, is intended to honour the legacy of the British Space Program as well as inspire young people in education to pursue STEM subjects which are so important as they prepare themselves for the rapidly evolving future landscape. While our Black Knight replica will not reach space, it will fly to several thousand feet and provide for a memorable experience for all who follow the project.
Our original target to launch our replica was to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the first launch of the British Black Knight Rocket launch vehicle – so launching on September 7th, 2018. This however has proved to be too ambitious and we have revised our goal to now launch on the 60th anniversary of the launch of BK08, the first two-stage variant of Black Knight. As such our revised goal for launch is now May 24th, 2020.
Our main focus on the project so far has been to reverse engineer a set of plans for the rocket, as well as constructing and launching a faithful 1:9 (actually 1:8.903) scale version to better understand the flight performance. We are currently working on the detailed design and logistics for the full-scale replica.
In the coming weeks and months, we will add updates to the site regarding our efforts to date, and also the construction and launch of our small-scale replica.
Please use the links on this web site to find out more about us, and about the history of the Black Knight rocket.