Monday, January 26, 2009

Back to the blog...

I haven't added any new entries for quite a while, but we have built a lot of rockets and have a lot to write about. We just had another small launch session today that went great.

Danny Pacheco conducted a series of launches for his science project at Sonoran Science Academy - Tucson. He found out some interesting things about drag, stability and performance. He had predicted that his rocket would not fly as high if he made cutouts in the fins because of increased drag. However in his test flights, the rocket flew much straighter and to higher altitudes after cutting the notches in the fins.

We also tested out Alan's new "Launch Box" for the flights today. The primary reason we built the new 12 volt launch ignition system was to ensure smooth, simultaneous ignition of all motors at the same time when flying clustered motors. We had several "no fires" in the past using the small Estes controllers. We have never had any issues using Estes 6 volt controllers for the hundreds of launches we have done with single motors. They are great for that.

However, we have added a growing number of rockets to our fleet that have from 2 to 7 clustered engines. For these we wanted a 12 volt system. We built the new "Launch Box" and it worked fantastic. I will write a separate review of that process and experience later.

Danny with Alan's new "Launch Box"

The flight we conducted with the one of our Estes 36 D Squared was awesome! We launched it on two D12-3 motors for a fantastic tall trail of smoke up into the heavens. Those watching in the park really liked that one!

The 36 D Squared sits next to Danny's experimental rocket as it lifts off Pad #1.

Another big crowd pleaser was the two stage launch of Naomi's Estes Renegade rocket. It was the first flight for this rocket so we flew it on a B6-0 / B6-6 combo and it was excellent. Talk about a happy girl after the perfect liftoff, second stage ignition and flawless separation! Very cool. Expect us to be doing many more multistage launches.

That's about it for now, but I do promise to get back to writing and get some more posts up on building rockets and the new "Launch Box" controller system.

1 comment:

javapda blog said...

Great post Duane! Can't wait to see your post for Alan's bench / launch station. It Rocks!