Monday, July 20, 2009

Ancient rockets, revisited (again)

Erik Gates reports on another show that he has helped out with. He just returned from a photo shoot at Lucerne for an episode of R. Lee “Gunny” Ermey's new series Lock N’ Load.
In the 3 days we launched 5 ancient Chinese bamboo rockets and 2 sets of 200 rocket arrow Hwachas from the 1400-1600’s. We also built and launched 5 each of the Congreve Centre Stick, and Hale rockets from the 1800’s. Wind, 110 degree weather and occasional showers hampered us, but we managed to get all rockets fired with varying degrees of success.
The arrows were Estes D12-7
Chinese - Pro38 3G Skid
Congreve - Kosdon Dirty Harry and Slow 75mm grains
Hale - AT White Lighting 75mm grains
The series premieres Friday, July 31 at 9pm ET on HISTORY™

The Mythbusters have previously explored Hwachas and Hale's rocket was previously tested on Weapons Masters, where they enlisted MDRA members to build the models. You can read my recap here and my earlier post on Hale and his rocket.

(I didn't know how to tag this one. Most rocketry content in TV shows ends up being classified as 'stunts' yet the subject matter here is history. Since my goal in tagging is to help find material and not to pass judgment, I just applied both.)