Latest Update:6th July 2018 - Day 199 - Phoenix 3D d78 Nosecone and UNSW Visit

Day 191 - Stager Tests

Date: 7th October 2017
Location: Whalan Reserve, Australia
Conditions: Sunny, wind 5-15km, 22C
Members: PK, Paul K, John K, and GK

3D Printed Stager

Today we are announcing the start of our new project called Horizon. We have been working on this project for about 6 months. It is still mostly in the design phase.

Today we tested our Mk 4. 3D printed stager design on a small booster with air only in the sustainer. This stager is a part of the design process for the Horizon project. The intention is that the final stager will be machined out of aluminium for the expected high pressures though the printed stager would be suitable for use with our lower pressure rockets.

The sustainer in today's test consisted only of an empty bottle fitted with a 9mm nozzle. The stager was set to deploy the bottle 2 seconds after launch. 

First we pressurised the booster to 110psi with air only as it was an older spliced pair of 2L bottles. We didn't release the rocket but started the timer instead to see if the stager would operate at this pressure and release the bottle. The bottle had a wire attached that was connected to the booster's parachute deployment mechanism. If the stager failed to release the bottle, there would be no recovery. The test went well as expected and so we filled the booster with 1L of water and set it up on the pad again.

We launched it at 110psi, and this time the rocket flew well and staged the bottle about 2 seconds into flight before the rocket came to apogee. The parachute deployed well and the rocket and bottle landed safely.

Just to be sure, we repeated the experiment again and the booster and stager behaved well and landed safely. Next I think we will try a small sustainer with water and a recovery system.

Axion G6 flights

We set up the Axion G6 again a couple of times with foam and both time the rocket performed well. Earlier in the week I had replaced the fins on this rocket with ones that were better aligned and this time the rocket didn't exhibit the coning like we saw on the last couple of flights. The rocket was launched at 210psi.

Axion flights - Filming apogee

Next up we wanted to see if we could film a rocket right near apogee from the drone. We set up our regular Axion rocket and pressurised it to only 100psi to get closer to 300'. We also attached an altimeter to the rocket so we would get a better idea about what altitude it was actually reading. On the first flight the rocket weathercocked into the wind and it flew out of the field of view of the drone. It had reached 274 feet though, and so we flew the drone to about that height on the subsequent launch.

This time John got a good view of it and you could see it go nicely through apogee. As it was time to pack up we didn't get a chance to fly it again, but we will definitely try again next time. This is a fairly low percentage shot so we are likely to need several flights before we can get a good one. We will also try to set the timer to deploy the parachute at or just before apogee so that we can capture that as well.

Pyro flights

The boys also flew a couple of their pyro rockets today. We flew those on C6-5 motors from SCR. These motors need a little more prep bacause they are slightly oversize compared to the Estes. They are about 1mm longer and the sticker on the outside needs to be peeled off before it will fit in a standard motor mount. One of the motors melted the plastic retainer on John's Dust Devil. Other than that they are a good long burn motor, Though they should really be called a C3 due to their lower average thrust.

Flight Details

Launch Details
1
Rocket   Baryon IV (booster), Empty 1.25L bottle (sustainer)
Pressure   110psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1000 mL
Flight Computer   STII - 2 sec
Payload   3D printed stager
Altitude / Time   ? feet / ? s
Notes   Good flight with stager releasing when expected 2 seconds after launch. Good parachute deployment and landing.
2
Rocket   Baryon IV (booster), Empty 1.25L bottle (sustainer)
Pressure   110psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1000 mL
Flight Computer   STII - 2 sec
Payload   3D printed stager
Altitude / Time   ? feet / ? s
Notes   Good flight with stager releasing when expected 2 seconds after launch. Good parachute deployment and landing.
3
Rocket   Pod 2
Motor   C6-5 (SCR)
Payload   None
Altitude / Time   ?' / ? seconds
Notes   Good launch, and good recovery.
4
Rocket   Dust Devil
Motor   C6-5 (SCR)
Payload   None
Altitude / Time   ?' / ? seconds
Notes   Good launch, and good recovery. Motor difficult to remove from the rocket as it partially melted the motor retainer.
5
Rocket   Axion G6
Pressure   210psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1500mL + foam
Flight Computer   STII - 6 sec
Payload   None
Altitude / Time   ? / ?
Notes   Good straight flight with parachute deployment just after apogee, Good landing..
6
Rocket   Axion G6
Pressure   210psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1500mL + foam
Flight Computer   STII - 6 sec
Payload   None
Altitude / Time   ? / ?
Notes   Good straight flight with parachute deployment just after apogee, Good landing.
7
Rocket   Pod 2
Motor   C6-5 (SCR)
Payload   None
Altitude / Time   ?' / ? seconds
Notes   Good launch, and good recovery.
8
Rocket   Axion ?
Pressure   100psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1500mL
Flight Computer   STII - 5 sec
Payload   AltimeterOne
Altitude / Time   274 feet / ? s
Notes   Good flight but angled into the wind a little, Good landing.
9
Rocket   Axion ?
Pressure   100psi
Nozzle   9mm
Water   1500mL
Flight Computer   STII - 5 sec
Payload   AltimeterOne
Altitude / Time   274 feet / ? s
Notes   Good flight but angled into the wind a little, Good landing.