Friday, February 13, 2009

Rockets Magazine V3 I6 Feb 2009 - including FAA analysis

I found this to be one of the better issues of Rockets. It features two solid tech articles - one on chain-stitching 'chute lines and one on molding fiberglass parts. I doubt if I'll use either, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested.

The editorial discusses the recent FAA rule changes and there is an article on the same by Pat Gordzelik. This article was quite informative and will be made available on both Rocketry Planet and ROL shortly. It confirms what I thought - that, although we mid-power folks made out like a bandit, the results were not as good for high power. For those flying over 'O' power (the new 'Class 3') there will be much larger hoops, which exceed those imposed by the Level-3 certification process. First, you will need clearance of a minimum of a quarter of the expected altitude (1500' feet min.) from roads and any buildings other than those owned by the launch host. This is 0.37 miles for an AGL of 50K'. You will also need wind data through your expected altitude, even though the launch is at least 45 days out. Pat provides some ideas about how to get this info. Next, you'll need 6 Degrees Of Freedom 'splash-pattern' analysis. The only source Pat knows of (and he's one of the 'big dogs' of sport HPR) is RockSim Pro, which costs about a $G. Pat ends with a positive attitude noting the paperwork may prove to be easier than expected and that there are no longer burn-time limits. Finally, if you had a waiver approved under the old rules prior to Feb 2, then you will not have to re-file. I'll end by making one observation. The original NPRM set a higher impulse limit for Class-3 but it was reduced to 'O' impulse after comments from one person. The basis for that comment was TRA's HPR safety code. I hate to say it but that actually sounds like a logical, if not technically sound, basis. Whew, I probably should have made that a separate post.

There are several photo sections from Tripoli Wisconsin, the Sept. ARLISS launch, XPRS and MDRA. The best shot was the background on the inside cover which showed a full-sized Christmas tree flipping on end. Not exactly a poster child for safety, but cool anyway!

Finally there was coverage of Tripoli Central VA's Battle of the rockets, a big German launch, and Steve Eves' 1/10 scale Saturn V. I haven't read the latter yet. I wonder if they got their waiver before Feb. 2nd? :eek: