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Day 151 - Competition Day
Location:Whalan Reserve, NSW, Australia
Conditions:Sunny, light breeze
Team Members at Event: PK, GK,
This week was NSWRA's first competition day for the year. The
competition was an altitude-duration type. The basic rules were
to fly as close to a pre-determined altitude of 400 feet and then
hang in the air the longest. You would get 1 point for every
second the rocket stayed in the air and 1 point would be
deducted for every foot away from 400 feet.
The person with the highest or least negative score would be the
winner. Water rockets were allowed so we too entered the
Large Chute Deployment Mechanism
For this competition we made a deployment mechanism that
could deploy larger parachutes. The basic idea was to use a side
deploy that would release a pilot chute, and then this chute
would pull off the nosecone and pull out the big parachute. We
had three different parachutes prepared depending on the wind
conditions. One was 1.32m (52") in diameter, 85g, the second was
1.45m (57") 127g and the
last was 2.6m (102") in diameter 66g. This chute was made from a thin
plastic drop sheet and is quite fragile.
Ready for launch
The pilot chute itself was big enough to land the rocket
safely should the large chute fail to open.
Launch conditions were ideal with lots of blue skies, little
wind and what wind there was was blowing in the right
Flight 1: The first flight was flown @120psi with the
new deployment mechanism. It was evident that the nosecone had
separated on the way up and the main chute came out. It didn't
fully open thankfully on the way up and then soon after apogee
the pilot chute deployed. The rocket came down under the pilot
chute with the larger chute only partially inflated. Some of the
lines were tangled. This was a scenario I was partially
expecting and was probably caused by the loosely fitted main
chute flying upwards inside the rocket on burnout and knocking
off the nosecone. I suspect if the parachute had a bit of
resistance inside the tube this would not have been an issue. As
a result of the lost nosecone, there was a lot of drag on the
open top of the rocket and the rocket only reached 301 feet.
With the tangled chutes the flight time was: 21.2 seconds.
Flight 2: For the second flight we swapped out the
large chute deployment mechanism and replaced it with our
standard one. Instead of the normal 0.52m (20") parachute we replaced it
with a larger 0.7m (27") chute without a spill hole to get a little
more hang time. We knew this rocket @120psi goes to about 370
feet using only water, so we added some foam and shook up the
rocket. We launched it at 118psi. This time the altitude was 100
feet over at 506 feet and flight time of 40.2 seconds.
Flight 3: The next flight was identical to flight #2
but we only pressurised the rocket to 105psi. This time the
rocket flew to 393' with a flight time of 31.1 seconds. This was
pretty close, but with good competition from the pyro guys and
with very light air frames there was potential for them to have
some very long hang time.
Flight 4: Flight #4 was a repeat of #3 also at 105psi.
This time the rocket went to 419' with a flight time of 32
seconds. It is
difficult to predict performance with foam. That was close to 25
feet difference between the two flights with all rocket
Flight 5: For the last flight we dialled the pressure
back just a little to 102psi. This time the rocket hit 403' with
a flight time of 33.1 seconds for an overall winning score of
:) David Head came second with his Triflux rocket at 389 feet
and flight time of 30.8 seconds.
Paul had also entered his Black Thunder rocket which went to
253 feet on a C6-3 and then after removing the fin pods flew it
again to 299 feet on the same motor.
Paul getting his rocket ready
Tim kindly donated two prizes for the competition: an 808 keychain cam with an SD card and an original Fisher
Space Pen. So we chose the space
pen. Pretty neat prize. :)
Fisher Space Pen - 1st Prize
Back of packaging
It was a really good day with good conditions and the best
turnout of fliers at Whalan Reserve so far. For the rest of the
day we fired the G2 cluster launcher with 4 single air only
bottles about 6 times as we re-synchronized the launcher after
the salvo flights.