Prospero/Black Arrow | Waxwing 3rd Stage of Black Arrow – Film (BAJ) and Commentary by John Harlow and Mark Perman

Date: 28 October 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Zoom
BIS Events | BIS West Midlands

The West Midlands Branch Presents

A film detailing the Third Stage of Black Arrow a Solid Propellant Rocket Motor known as Waxwing will be shown. In its time the Waxwing was one of the most advanced Solid Propellant Rocket Motors available. John Harlow will provide a short introduction to the Rocket Propulsion Establishment Westcott Waxwing development programme. Dr Peter Penny formerly head of Solid Rocket Motors Division at Westcott has provided some information/slides on the type of propellant (Plastic Composite propellant) used in the Waxwing and Mark Perman will present this. It is hoped that some other former RPE Westcott employees will be available to comment on aspects of the Waxwing!


John Harlow has had a very interesting career being fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time involved with the technical aspects of rocketry. Having cut his teeth on Polaris, John went on to work on both launchers and other re-entry systems. He has worked for and/or with the MoD, Foreign Office, United Nations to name but a few and this has taken him to most satellite Prime Contractors and launch facilities around the planet.

He is a Past President of the BIS, and a member of the IAA History Committee.

Mark Perman joined RPE Westcott as a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice in 1974 on completion of his apprenticeship he worked in the Design Office in the Solid Propellant motor section before moving on to a post in the Liquid Motor Project Office working on the TCPU Long Term Storage and Surveillance Programmes this role later expanded to cover the tanks of the Hydrazine Actuation System (HAS). Additional work included time on Hydrazine Mono-Propellant Thrusters and support to the Leros Bi-propellant motor programme.

In 1998 he moved up to Roxel Summerfield to work on Solid Propellant Rocket Motors. He held posts in project management and Configuration control.


Meeting Timetable

  • 18:55 – The meeting is available to join
  • 19:00 – Welcome
  • 19:05 – Black Arrow 50th Anniversary! Waxwing 3rd Stage of Black Arrow – Film (BAJ) and Commentary by John Harlow and Mark Perman
  • 20:05 – Questions and Answers (we enable everyone’s microphone to allow an interactive Q&A session)


So, here’s the Plan/Joining Instructions!

  1. Register for the Talk using the link below
  3. Before the event, we will send you an email with the joining link for the meeting.
  4. On the day, click meeting link (and follow the on-screen instructions to install Zoom if prompted)


Please Note

The Conference Call and Q & A sessions will be recorded (which may capture your name, picture, voice or video) and made available via the West Midlands Facebook group and possibly via the BIS HQ website. You consent to this by registering for the Conference Call/Q & A sessions.