Thursday, June 21, 2007

Launch Log 2007.06.21

Isaac woke me up at 6:30a this morning to go launch some rockets. Unfortunately, I had a production deployment at 2a this morning, so I was slow to get out of bed. We finally hit the launch site around 7:45a and had some nice launches. It was a beautiful, warm morning; winds were calm.

Our first launch was a new Estes Bandit that the local hobby show, Mile Sky Hobbies, gave us. The owner had hosted a build 'n take booth at an air-show recently and we weren't able to attend so he gave us the model that he had built for demonstration. The rocket is an E2X kit and flies nice and straight. Our first flight was on an A8-3 just to verify that it would fly straight.

Second flight was the tiny, yellow Estes Sting Ray. Isaac did all the prep including the motor install and launch connection and then launched. We launched with a 1/2A3 and the tiny thing still went high and far.

Mighty Mouse took a turn on a B6-6 and had a great flight, as always. Next, Isaac prep'd the Estes Swift for it's first flight. Using a 1/2A3, the rocket went far out of site up and a little to the north. We heard the motor ejection, but couldn't see any trace of the rocket or smoke. Isaac is convinced that the Swift is orbitting earth at this very moment.

The String Ray flew next on a B6-4. The glide from powered flight to apogee was impressive. Mighty Mouse flew on a B6-6 and then we flew the String Ray one more time on a B6-6.

That's 7 flight... I think we had 8 launches... I'm forgetting something. I better start carrying paper or a computer to the launch to record! Launch prep was far better this time and I remembered all launch rods and parachutes today :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Under Construction: Talon 2 and Rhino II

In the smallish rockets that I build, the motor mounts have been pretty fun lately. The two main rockets that I'm working on at the moment are the Talon 2 and the Rhino II. The Rhino II is my second Rhino: the first is a cluster with 4 13mm motors; the Rhino II will fly with 5 13mm motors.

The Talon 2 my first Talon kit - it just has a 2 in the name because Giant Leap makes a bunch of different sizes of the kit. This kit is a 'high power' kit similar to the Bullet, but far more complex to build. The motor mount is shown below just before I assembled it into the rocket. The black on the one end is the motor retainer that uses snap rings rather than a screw-on cap like the retainer on the Bullet. The wire loop on the motor mount is the shock-cord mount - again, different from the U-bolt used by the Bullet.

The motor mount in the Talon 2 is 29mm in diameter and about 18" long: that's pretty big for as small a rocket as it is. It uses G-10 fins which is a new material for me to work with. G-10 is necessary for bigger, faster rockets because it is a lot stronger and less flexible than plywood. One curiousity is that it uses a nylon shock-cord with kevlar sleeve rather than a simple kevlar shock-cord - I'm not sure why that is yet.

Monday, June 04, 2007

NCR June Launch

No - I didn't launch the Bullet this weekend. It was an awesome weekend of rocketry, though.

In the picture above, the two rockets were supposed to drag-race. I believe that the rules are the winner has the best 2 out of 3 of: first to altitude, highest altitude, and first to land. Art, with his BAMF, was the obvious winner in this launch because Dougs camera rocket didn't fire. The next day, they tried again and both rockets launched, but Doug's rocket was only thinking about getting to the ground first: it went up, turned over and went back down. I'm pretty sure it was super-sonic by the time it landed because it was really screaming and I was well over a mile away and could here it quite loudly. The nose cone was buried 2 feet in the hard-packed desert dirt. Art won again.

Later on the day, after dozens of other cool flights, this 14 foot long Saturn V launched. Most impressive: