Friday, February 29, 2008

On the categorization of odd-rocs

How big a rocket nut am I? Big enough that last night I dreamed of a system to characterize odd-rocs. As with many dreams, the details have faded, but I decided to recreate and capture the system. Don't ask me why anyone would want or need to do this.

The system involves a two digit pair in the form x-y, where 'x' described the type of rocket and 'y' describes the materials used.

Rocket Types:

1 - Classic Rockets that have a classic fin stabilized design, with 3 through 10 fins (arbitrary upper bound). Typical 3/4FNC rockets.
2 - Ultra-Classic Rockets that are fin stabilized but have non-classical fin designs, including but not limited to less than three fins, a very large number of fins (ie the V32), cone stabilized, and tube fins.
3 - Winged Rockets than are fin stabilized but which also have large, slightly forward mounted fins. In this class, the lift from the wings needs to be considered when determining their stability. Examples include the X-15, F-104 Starfighter, SpaceShipOne, and Fireball XL5.
4 - Gliders A special case of winged rockets. This category includes boost gliders and rockets that use parasite gliders. They have similar considerations as winged rockets, but also have components that must glide during recovery.
5 - Drag Stabilized The primary means of stability in this class is large base drag. Common examples include flying saucers, pyramids, cones and their variants. Spool and half-spool rockets are also included.
6 - Rotational These are rockets that get a majority of their directional motion from aerodynamic lift. The best example are monocopters and higher order variants (Push Me Pull You, Scroton). Even odder examples exist, but I'll make this another post.
7 - Box-Busters All weird designs that shouldn't really fly, but do, and are not otherwise characterized. My only example currently is the Whirlygig.

Materials Category

Note, the '0' categories are not odd-rocs but are included for completeness.

0a - Kits Commercial kits.
0b - Scratch Rockets made from classic, commercial rocket components. Includes kit bashes.
0c - Total Scratch Rockets using non-rocket but conventional and possibly home-made components (ie mailing tubes, CD-ROM fins, standard types of fin stock).
1 - Half Breeds Rockets that have one or more non-conventional components (plastic doohickies for a nose cone, CD-ROM fins).
2 - Purebreds Rockets that incorporate non-standard components for most major structural components.
3 - Unibody Rockets that are primarily made from a single foreign object or material. Examples include stuffed furry things, Easter Eggs, birdhouses, daiquiri glasses.

Well, that took way too much of my time and I've had enough for now! If you're so motivated, read this several times, take a nap, and tell me your thoughts.