Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Clusters, maths, and Red Glare

The current issue of Apogee's Peak of Flight Newsletter, Issue 363, presents a method to compute all the required holes and templates to make a canted motor rocket. The article was penned by William Cook who flew an awesome, 3-motor Mega Der Red Max, aka the Mega Der Drei Max, in the Mega Der Red Max drag race at Red Glare XVI earlier this month. You can see his rocket (briefly) on the far left in this video.

Monday, April 21, 2014

3 water rockets ready for the grandrocketeers

I drank my Dr Pepper and lopped off the top of the bottle. I added an elastic cord to connect the nose, body and 'chute. After dry fitting it, I give it a 25% chance of success. I thing the nose will come off under boost. There is one sure way to find out :)

Here again is the rocket with my Quest fins and quick connect. One problem with these fins is that they are contoured to the larger body and don't move gracefully to smaller bottles.

Here is my ancient "Hydro 1L" with a new 'boink' nose cone. You can see the rubber stopper that came with my spare set of StratoFins. So, I have 3 rockets that each require their own GSE.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Launch Report 2014-4

Location: NARHAMS, Mt. Airy
Weather: max temp. in high 50's, a few high clouds, gusty winds to 15mph
Total flights: Today - 13; YTD - 28
Total motors: Today - 14; YTD - 33
Motors by class YTD: MMX-1, A-3, B-2, C-6, D-5, E-6, F-7, G-2, H-1

This was a nice day despite the strong wind. After losing one to the trees, I learned to angle the rod cross-range so the rockets would miss them. The launch rate started slow but picked up after the arrival of the scouts. By then, I was on my launch rail. After those flights, I put a 1/16" rod on the pad so I could bypass the crowd. Bringing a rod was an accident but it worked out well. From now on, I will always bring my LPR rods when I bring my rail pad.

The surprise of the day was having Don and Richard drop by the launch. Don has dropped out of the hobby in favor of brewing beer.  Richard has been MIA due to other priorities but at least brought rockets.

My Flights:
  1. AlaskaPaperModelWorks Saturn V on a D12-5 - Nice flight with no fin damage...until my chair blew over onto it. D'oh!
  2. Semroc Semi-scale V-2 on a B6-4 - Nice flight.
  3. V-104 on a B6-4 - Not as high as the Semroc. The 'chute stayed in the nose cone but no damage. Next time, I'll pack the 'chute so the shock cord pulls it out.
  4. F-in-Rocket on an E16-6 - Nice flight but a lot of weather cocking. Could have used a -4. At least the walk was shorter.
  5. MRC Iron Man on a C11-3 - Nice flight.
  6. This is Not the Rocket You're Looking For on a D12-0/C6-5 - Very high flight. Saw the ejection charge fire but this rocket was never seen or heard from again.
  7. 5th Generation on a D12-5 - Nice flight near the end of the day after the wind quieted down.
  8. Phinagain Cruise Missile on a D12-5 - Late ejection but a successful flight.
  9. Half ASStron Superroc on a C6-3 - This was my longest walk even though it only uses tumble recovery. Glad I pointed it sidways so it missed the trees.
  10. USAF Frankenstein rocket on a D12-7 - Lost to the trees.
  11. Estes Mini-Patriot on an A10-3 - I was talking and missed the entire flight. I saw it just as it landed.
  12. Estes Sacrificial Bertha on an F15-8 - Nice flight, also angled to miss the trees.
  13. Estes Ventris on an F26-6 - Nice smokey boost with ejection at apogee.
All my photos can be seen here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Water rockets are bad for me

Several months ago, I went cold turkey off sodas, sweetened teas, etc. I have been pretty good up until now. I just bought a 2L Dr. Pepper for the nose section of my StratoFins rocket. I also got two 1.25 L bottles for another rocket. These bottles are much smaller in diameter than the 2L and this should have a lot less drag being that they are around 3" vs. around 4" in diameter. At a buck or so each, I can afford to just dump the soda. But, Dr. Pepper is so delicious. We will see what wins out, my will power or my compulsion to finish the 2L rocket.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

StratoFins parachute attachment

{This is my first post from my phone, formatting issues may ensue.}

Attached is a photo of a StratoFin unit on a 2L bottle and with a 12" Estes 'chute attached. The shroud lines are not long enough to reach to the fins so I added separate cords. Each has a loop on top and they are cinched with a cable tie (basically the method outlined on the StratoFins site). The 'chute already had a snap swivel attached. 

When I can get another bottle, I'll fashion a nose cone. Meanwhile, I'll ponder what cheap toy may have a timer that I can play with. George from AirCommand confirmed what my gut knew - recovery by passive nose cone drop off is unreliable.

One thing to note is that a 2L rocket with StratoFins reportedly will tumble down vs. come in ballistic.  This also seems iffy but it is mentioned somewhere on their site and I found a third party video that shows this. I may have to find out for myself.