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Day 149 - Glide Fins
Location:Whalan Reserve, NSW, Australia
Team Members at Event:GK,
Paul K, and John K.
For this launch we prepared a rocket with a couple longer fins that
were meant to help the rocket glide a little more on the way
down under a normal parachute. The longer term goal is of
being able to steer the rocket away from trees. The rocket was suspended so that
two of the longer fins formed a dihedral with the third smaller
fin pointing straight down. The idea is to make the rocket
itself steerable rather than the parachute as is commonly done. For this test there
was no steering involved, we just wanted to see how the rocket
behaved with the glide fins attached and whether it will in fact
glide more. The parachute was attached the same way as we did for the
stabilised descent video which ensured the fins were oriented
the right way round on the way down.
Although it was overcast today, the wind was fairly calm and
made for good launch conditions. We loaded up the rocket
with the glide fins onto the launcher and pressurised it to
120psi. We were a little worried about the asymmetric fins
causing the rocket to fly in an arc, but the rocket flew well
without issues. The parachute deployed at apogee and the rocket
turned it self around to the correct attitude. Observing it on
the way down it looked like it occasionally had forward
movement, but then it would pitch upwards, change direction
pitch down and then glide forward again for a short time. In
this configuration I believe it would be hard to control. I think we need
to attach the parachute a little further back so the rocket has
a more pitched down attitude. We will also likely shorten the
shock cord to help reduce the parachute movement. The rocket
landed well otherwise and we'll try again next time.
We launched the Axion rocket a couple of times at 120psi with
foam, The flights went well with altitudes of 518 and 538 feet.
The rocket landed well with no damage.
Paul also ended up flying his Black Thunder rocket on a C6-3.
The rocket flew well and deployed at apogee but the parachute
didn't inflate. It even had talcum powder on it to prevent it
from sticking. The rocket had a tumble recovery and landed well