Each flight log entry usually
represents a launch or test day, and describes the
events that took place.
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Day 101 - Foam flights
Axion VII has a 7.5L capacity.
First flight launched at 125psi and 9mm
A panorama made from in-flight video shortly
Cruising past the moon.
Downloading video between flights.
Caleb helping to launch a the rocket on the
Tracking the rocket with the DV camera.
Grass landings are always good to cushion
the rocket landings.
Looking up through the launcher ring brace.
Flight #3 used the same configuration as the
first two flights. About 1.8L of water with
Panorama of the launch site. You can see the
launch pad and crew in the bottom center.
Basecamp near the pyro rocket launch area.
Clear blue skies are always nice.
Another panorama taken on the fourth flight,
about 6 seconds before impact.
Rocket landed in tall grass, but 3 out of 4
bottles were buckled.
Extracting the video camera.
Nosecone was damaged, but all the important
components survived without damage.
Just a few kinks.
Maybe no one will notice .... though the
rocket squeaks a lot more now.
The likely cause of the Polaron G2 leak on
the pad. A cracked seal on the launcher.
Servo Timer II is about half the size of
V1.6. Here component clearances are being
checked on a printout.
New side deploy nosecone under construction
along side a repaired in-line deployment
nosecone for G2.
Location:Doonside, NSW, Australia
Conditions:26 Degrees C, light
winds partly cloudy.
Team Members at Event:PK and
Today was just a casual flying day as we
don't have all the changes complete for the
Polaron G2 rocket. We've had our time
divided between a number of projects over
the last couple of weeks (some non-water
rockets) and so the G2 has
been slower going. The nosecone and base has been repaired and
repainted, and it just needs to be refitted
with the servo and ejector plate.
We are also making a side deploy mechanism for
the next G2 flight. The body of the
mechanism is made from one of the bottles
that was damaged during the last flight.
We have also started working on the back
up parachute mechanism and all the
electronics to go with it. It is a bit of a
tight squeeze In the backup payload bay
the uMAD hooked up to our FC for deployment,
the servo, battery, ejection plate,
parachute and for gathering flight performance
data we are also flying
Craig's flight computer and the Z-log
When we pulled apart the launcher, we
found the main seal for the 15mm release
head was split in a couple of places. This
was likely the cause of the leak we had when
we were pressurising the G2 on the pad.
Flight Day Report
It was very good flying weather this
weekend with mild temperatures and only a
slight breeze. The rocket was only assembled
the night before from spare components. We
have a set of nosecones with deployment
mechanisms, fairings, fin cans and spliced bottles in
our inventory so it is just a matter of
assembling them to make the rocket.
We were set up by about 9:30am and
launched the 7.5L Axion. The flight was
flawless with parachute opening right at
apogee and landing very close to the pad.
Because there was a slight breeze towards
the "Christmas trees" (tall trees with
several rockets hanging off them like
decorations) we swapped to a smaller
parachute for less drift and angled the
rocket away from the trees. With the second
flight also at 125psi, the rocket again left
a nice foam trail almost all the way up to
The landing was good though the parachute
was attached a little too far down the
rocket, and the nose banged the ground. With
a minor dent to the top bottle we set it up
again for the third flight. We used 1.8L of
water and foam mix in all the flights.
The third flight was a little less ideal
with the parachute deploying late perhaps 2
or 3 seconds past apogee. We were flying the
MD80 clone camera on all the flights hoping to get
some shots of how the area is changing. In
the footage from one flight you can see a
rocket hanging in the Christmas trees.
The rocket was set up again for the final flight
of the day. Everything was identical to the
previous 3 flights, but this time the
parachute never deployed and the rocket
landed hard. Surprisingly, none of the
electronics were damaged, and we only really need
to replace 3 bottles and the
nosecone deployment structure. I suspect
that the parachute was caught under the
ejection plate as there was a small gap
under it. It was designed for a larger
parachute. When packing the chute I thought
that it didn't look like it
sat too well in the parachute bay. The servo
had activated as we found it in the
deployed position. The servo also survived.
Despite the hard crash it's actually a low
cost repair job. At this stage we
aren't going to do any repairs as we have
spare bottles and nosecones ready for more
Altogether it was a good launch day and
we have good onboard video from all 4
flights. Thanks to Dan and Caleb for helping us
launch the rockets.
Highlights video from
the launch day
We spent about 5 days last week
shooting the splicing video and putting
splicing tutorial together. I'm glad
YouTube now allows 15 minute videos so
we could do it all in one part. I think
we used at least 30 different 2L bottles
for the shoot as we had them prepared in
different stages of construction to make
the video shooting go faster, and most
of the shots were done with two takes.
But it's not a complete loss of 30
bottles, as we now have a number of new
spliced pairs we can use on our rockets!
Servo Timer II - I've been
continuing work on the servo timer this
week. The design is finished, and all
the firmware is complete, the components
have arrived and I've finished the board
layout as well. I've sent the layout off
to get the prototype boards made so I'll
be able to start assembling and testing
soon. We want to do quite a few flights
in different configurations first before
we get more boards made. A big
thank you to PK from
for all the help.