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David Powers launch report

June 10, 2010

I would like to thank Mark for his gracious understated "a few unstable" comment. It was not my most successful day in many ways including a Wheat Field Hat Trick.
• Space Plane o I started the day with what had to have been the most interesting launch of the day. It was my Space Plane from May which I decided was under powered on the C6 motor. I modified the plane and built a booster for it to up the power. It was unsuccessful to say the least. I launched from A1 with a D12-0/C6-5 combination. It came off the rod at 100+ mph and immediately crashed under B6, with pieces flying in all directions. The funny thing was after it drove itself into the ground the C6-5 motor went off and the rocket plane jumped up off the ground into the sky, with what was left of its nose cone crammed into the front. The upper tail section was missing and one elevator was missing, but it went straight up about 50-100' or so. After the motor stopped it can down at a steep angle but landed on the parachute which came out 10' off the ground. I am not sure why it immediately went into a dive (it didn't go 2 " above the end of the rail). Isn't that an indication that it was nose heavy? Which it wasn't. I wonder if it got stuck on the rail. I was tempted to try launching what was left of the plane again, without the booster but I did not. • Paper Boy o It launched beautifully on a C6-5. It is a rocket I made from Butch Paper. It went straight up, maybe 800 or 900', and came down (a little too fast) on a streamer and landed not 100' north of the launch stand. I don't know why but it had a clear smoke trail all the way up, even while it was coasting. It broke two fins off on the landing. Not surprising considering that they were only glued onto butcher paper. I glued them back on and launched it again as my last launch of the day. I added some streamer to try and slow its return. The Second launch was on a C6-7. It went even better, straighter and higher. It's return wasn't so great though. It came down ballistic. My guess is the knot in the steamer where I added to the streamer got stuck on something, or I didn't pack it carefully enough. The nose cone did not come off. It landed right inline with the Launch pad, about 50' to the West. Bye Bye nose cone, but otherwise it seems OK. I am going to build a 24mm version for the October launch. • Bunker Buster o This was a squat little, very solid rocket that started out life to be a motor mount for a larger rocket, but, I turned it into a rocket instead. I set the angle wrong on the launch rod, too angled to the North. It flew great on an E9-6, the streamer came out, and it came down at a reasonable speed. It landed in the middle of the wheat field where the wheat was knee high. I did not find it. It was no great loss, though I would have liked the nose cone back. . Too Slim It lived up to its name. It was the XR-3C from the May launch, but, shorten by 4" and the fins narrowed. The fins were too narrow and it as cork screwing. It turned with the wind, and went nearly as lateral as up. It was on a E9-8 and went a long way. I also never found it. It had had a long and mostly successful life so its no big loss, though I would have liked the parachute back. It will be easy to build another, and better one, if the urge should strike. • Sextet o Not a good design, it was better with only four fins. It was what I called Tiny Tin for the May launch, it launched nicely then on D motors. I had removed the aluminum foil and added two small fins between two of the four fins. It was not wildly unstable, just some kinking around. I launched on a D12-7 instead of an E9-8, because I didn't want to lose it. Which I did. It was lost three in a row. It wasn't even in the wheat field, it was open stubble, and I still couldn't find it. Not sure if it would have flown better with the E9 I designed it for, though I doubt it. It kind of cut into my launches losing my three primary rockets on their first launches. • Glider o The wind stopped completely so I set my glider up for launch, 2 seconds before it launched the wind came back. It launched on a B4-2. It still went up OK, but it turned into the wind;was up about 50-100'. The glider looked like the wind was pushing it down (which it turns out it was not). It landed on the edge of the wheat field, which was likely a good thing since it was coming down fairly steeply. I launched it a second time just before I left in the evening calm, also on a B4-2. The boost was beautiful, straight up maybe 300-400'. It came down ballistic, like a rocket who's chute didn't open. It was in three pieces (its back together for the October launch). The patching I did with grain filler made it too heavy. I put the grain filler on the wing and filled the hole the motor burned into the wing during the May launch. I think it must have also lost the tail ballast weigh on the first launch. • Toothpick Charlie Too o This was my small rocket with fins made out of toothpicks. This version had more toothpicks, and an X-fin configuration. It launched better than in the May, but still needs work. Launched on a C6-5. It turned into the wind and was cork screwing. The delay was too long, it only got to 50 -100'. Discharge was only a blink before it hit the ground, no time to slow down. At least it didn't drive the nose cone inside. Broke two of the "fins" and put a pretty good dent in one side of the top. But version 3 will fly in October. That was about it for me. David

Posted by bobble at June 10, 2010 5:14 AM

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