Saturday, August 09, 2014

Rocket oddness at MDRA's ESL-193

Peter Abresch caught a couple of my flights at ESL-193 - my AquaShuttle water rocket and the Cohete Gigante balloon rocket.

When I launched the Shuttle, it went back over my head and, when I saw it again, the 'chute was out. I knew the flight was very low becuae of the short hang time. You can't clearly see the whole flight on the attached video and I can't tell if it was going unstable or was just badly underpowered. It is heavy for a 2L water rocket and is very draggy. It went up on a mere 300mL and at 80psi. On the next try I'll double the water and shoot for 100psi. While unimpressive, all phases of the flight were at least successful.

I would have said the balloon rocket was a failure but it did give everyone some laughs before, during, and after.  It flew on an E9-4. The confusion about three motors is that I was trying to decide which to use, put them all on the flight card and forgot to scratch two of them out. You will see it arced over and popped. Nose weight was not the issue as mentioned by Neil. In still shots taken by Bill Cook, you can see the balloon arcing badly just above the fin can and, in the subsequent shots, one fin is bent flat against the body. I inflated the balloon earlier in the week and was afraid that, if I tried to recharge it, the seal would break. So, it wasn't as stiff as I would have liked. I'm sure the uber-floppy fins would have done it in anyway.