Saturday, April 02, 2011

How do winged things on the tip of your rocket affect its stability?

That's what was studied in "AERODYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS FROM MACH 1.50 TO 2.86 OF A LIFTING ENTRY VEHICLE ALONE, WITH ADAPTER SECTIONS, AND WITH A SATURN LAUNCH VEHICLE," Aug. 4, 1965, NASA TM X-1125, # 3 1176 01328 5292. This report is the subject of YAYT (yet another YORF thread) by the rocketeer known as luke strawwalker. Here's the bottom line (or at least the last line of luke's summary):
In comparison with a nonlifting vehicle, the lifting entry vehicle of the present investigation exterted a longitudinal  destabilizing influence on the complete Saturn launch system and introduced significant nonlinearities in pitching moment coefficient curves. 
Well, that doesn't bode well for my current project.  It may also explain my my Dyna-Soar Carrier was unstable even when RockSim said it would be.