Thursday, December 19, 2013

Launch Report 2013-11 (air and water) - UPDATED

Location: Da 'hood
Weather: sunny, wind 0mph, temperature an unseasonable 50
Total flights: Today - 21; YTD - 71
Total motors: Today - 0; YTD - 90
Motors by class YTD: Water-4, Air-22, MMX-3, A-10, B-3, C-30, D-7, E-13, F-13, G-8, H-3

The day before yesterday, my grandson saw a copy of Sport Rocketry with an ad for their water rocket set. He asked about it and became obsessed. Unfortunately, it was way to cold to mess with water so I let him launch a few air rockets. Last night, I realized the temperature was expected to jump to near 50 degrees so I brought the water rocket and launcher up from the Dungeon. This report covers both days. 

We used my custom air launcher powered by my new 12v portable jumper battery. In all flights, I limited the pressure to 30psi and angled it safely down range.  Altogether, we had 10 flights on several rockets from AlaskaPaperModelWorks. Two rockets were lost - one due to my error and one due to marginal stability which made it corkscrew in a wide circle. One type was totally unstable (as expected) and flopped around harmlessly. One was cut short and had poor performance. My grandson liked the others because they lawndarted nicely. The other rocket was one I built from foam pipe insulation, duct tape, and foamboard fins. This is wider and much heavier than the paper models but still flies well. Boink.

My Quest water rocket was built around a 2L bottle. I flew at 40 - 60 psi with random amounts of water. Experience told me the flights would be unstable but I still thought he'd have fun...and he did!  The last flight actually shredded the fin can. I didn't check the joints between flights but since it never landed hard, I didn't think I needed to. I have since rebuilt it with a small bottle (~12 oz. from a beer kit).

I'll update this one report with any other flights. Looks like the temp tomorrow will still be warm. I missed Red Glare and can't make this weeks NARHAMS launch so this will be the last report of the year.

UPDATE: The next day we went out again with more air rockets. We flew three scratch rockets a total of seven times. These all went off my larger metal barrel. One was lost to a tree. Today we were out for a walk when I spotted the lost rocket. It must have blown out overnight.  Then my grandson found one of the ones that was lost earlier. Yay.