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The Armstrong Siddeley Stentor Rocket Engine

The Armstrong Siddeley Stentor was a two-chamber hypergolic rocket engine used in the British Avro Blue Steel Nuclear stand-off missile which entered service with the RAF in 1963. Blue Steel was carried to within 150 miles of it's target by an Avro Vulcan "V" Bomber, once released the Blue steel would be accelerated to it's cruse speed of Mach 2.3 AT an altitude up to 70,500ft (21,500) by it's Armstrong Siddeley Stentor rocket engine in about 30 seconds, it would then cruise to it's target in less than 5 minutes, at which time it's 1.1 megaton nuclear warhead would detonate.

Stentor Rocket Engine


The Blue Steel stood-down from service with the introduction of Polaris Submarines into the the Royal Navy in 1970. It is of note that combustion in the Armstrong Siddeley Stentor was hypergolic, this means that ignition was spontaneous once it's fuel (kerosene) and oxidiser (Hydrogen peroxide) came into contact with each other. As can be seen from the formula below the exaust was very clean, consisting of carbon dioxide and steam.

CH2 + 3H2O2 → CO2 + 4H2O


Armstrong Siddeley Stentor Specifications:

  • Type: Two-chamber Liquid-fuel rocket engine
  • Length: 58 in
  • Width: 38
  • Height: 44.5 in
  • Weight: 747 lb including oil and Nitrogen
  • Propellant: Hydrogen peroxide and kerosene


  • Thrust: Large boost chamber 24,000lbf (106.8kN)
  • Thrust: Small cruise chamber: 6,000lbf (26.7kN)
    Armstrong Siddeley Stentor Rocket Engine

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