Beta 2 rocket engine, 1948-1953.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Beta 2 engine was used to propel scale models of the experimental Fairey Delta 1 supersonic aircraft. It burned a fuel mixture of methyl alcohol, hydrazine hydrate and water in hydrogen peroxide oxidant. An important modification over the earlier Beta 1 allowed the combustion reaction to start deeper within the chamber, thus preventing the chamber walls from overheating.