Thursday, March 17, 2011

What the heck coning, anyway?

Per the archived EMRR glossary:
Coning - An unstable flight condition in which a rocket's spin causes the rear portion of the rocket to describe a circle. Coning greatly increases aerodynamic drag and reduces peak altitude.
It's one of things that you'll know when you see it.  I've mostly noticed it on underpowered winged rockets (e.g. an X-15). Find out more about what causes it on ROL InfoCentral.

(and, what the heck is up with my typing?)