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Flight Log Updates

#230 - Tajfun 2 L2

#229 - Mac Uni AON

#228 - Tajfun 2 Elec.

#227 - Zip Line

#226 - DIY Barometer

#225 - Air Pressure Exp.

#224 - Tajfun 2

#221 - Horizon Deploy

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#205 - Tall Tripod

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#197 - Dark Shadow II

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#193 - Coming Soon

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#187 - Skittles Part #1

#186 - Level 1 HPR

#185 - Liquids in Zero-G

#184 - More Axion G6

#183 - Axion G6

#182 - Casual Flights

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#180 - Light Shadow

#179 - Stratologger

#178 - Acoustic Apogee 1

#177 - Reefing Chutes

#176 - 10 Years

#175 - NSWRA Events

#174 - Mullaley Launch

#173 - Oobleck Rocket

#172 - Coming Soon

#171 - Measuring Altitude

#170 - How Much Water?

#169 - Windy

#168 - Casual Flights 2

#167 - Casual Flights

#166 - Dark Shadow II

#165 - Liquid Density 2

#164 - Liquid Density 1

#163 - Channel 7 News

#162 - Axion and Polaron

#161 - Fog and Boom

#1 to #160 (Updates)



Each flight log entry usually represents a launch or test day, and describes the events that took place.
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Day 21 - Records and Crashes
Filling Frankovka III, ... no that is not the nozzle, just a funnel used to fill it.
J4, up ..up and away...
OO up to its old tricks.
About to launch "John John" at 185 psi. Have to make sure it is on tape.
A nice high contrast view of the water column.
Daniel has a turn at launching a couple.
Frankovka III after impact. The FC survived but will need a new housing.
This picture says it all.
J4's parachute lines tangled in the nosecone tether (hanging down).
Applying a little reinforcement to "John John" in the field.
Date: 31st December 2006   7:15 - 9:15 am.

Location: Denzil Joyce Oval. (launch site #4)
Where exactly is that? Click the above link to see a Google Earth place mark. What is Google Earth?

Conditions: Heavy cloud cover, occasional shower, very light breeze - picking up towards the later part of the launch day.


Name Capacity Notes
J4 3.75 L This is a newer rocket made out of three 1.25L bottles. Parachute deployment is achieved using the nose-cone-off-at-apogee technique. Rocket is typically filled with 1.1 liters of water. The nosecone was slightly modified from the last day where it was deploying too early.
Frankovka III 4 L This is an older rocket designed to carry a video camera and a flight computer. On this day, it was flown with the camera and the flight computer.
Clifford 1.5 L An old good performing rocket with a ring fin strut design.
John John 600mL An old rocket reinforced with glass fiber tape for this launch event.
OO 2.5 L A very good older rocket flown in the same configuration as the last time it was flown.

Team Members at Launch Event: PK, GK, DK, Paul K and John K.

Number of launches: 16

This was a good day with plenty of launches, a couple of spectacular parachute failures, and a couple of new personal records. My cousin Daniel visiting this month also joined the team and assisted with all manner of tasks. He also took plenty of pictures and video too.

Flight Day Events

  • Frankovka III was first off the pad on a video mission. The video was very good and even shows where it landed in the low bushes.
  • On the next flight Frankovka III had a good deploy just after apogee, but we watched the parachute canopy just flapping without opening ... all the way to the ground. We saw a similar problem last week, but the parachute opened after a couple of seconds. On this occasion the rocket took a pretty heavy hit and destroyed the entire nosecone and payload section. Luckily the FC survived with only minor damage to the power switch, but otherwise powered up and worked just fine. It was just as well that the camera was not on this flight. Individually the release mechanism components also survived well, so we will just have to re-create a new housing for them. We will need to have a careful look at the parachute packing procedure to try to minimise this risk. The rocket was not in a state where we could fix it in the field.

    The upper pressurised bottle was also quite badly crushed, so it will be replaced. We have been wanting to do a rebuild of this rocket, so it gives us a good opportunity to do that. Replacing bottles is comparatively easy when you use Robinson style coupling as opposed to splicing.
  • J4 perfomed very well on the day, but suffered what looked like a similar fate to Frankovka III with the parachute deploying but not opening. When we recovered the rocket, we found that the nose cone tether had ripped off from the rocket on the way up and the end of the tether somehow managed to wrap itself around the main chute lines just below the canopy and so the cannopy didn't open. (see photo on left).
  • Just for laughs we decided to launch an older 1.5L rocket (Clifford) to compare the difference in takeoff with the heavier rockets. Clifford flew a perfect flight profile and deployed its chute right at apogee. It then proceeded to drift back to earth very slowly. I suspect that the wind direction and the range topology had something to do with it. The wind blew in the other direction to the prevailing winds, and I believe the row of trees and bushes caused the wind to move upward over them, and as the rocket passed over the trees it seemed to hang in the air longer.

    Although we didn't see the exact moment when the rocket hit the ground, we were able to calculate the 2 seconds of flight to the ground behind the trees based on the descent rate at the time just before dissapearing behind the trees and the height of the trees. The ground behind the trees is level with the launch pad. Regardless of the exact time, we have considerably broken our previous personal record flight time. The new time was 48.2 seconds. (the previous record was 31.5 seconds set by OO with twin chutes.) It is good to see that you do not have to build sophisticated rockets to achieve good performance. Although Clifford doesn't go as high as the bigger rockets it is light weight and has a resonably sized parachute.
  • We also launched our smallest rocket - John John - for the kids, but on subsequent flights we decided to see how far we could push it, so we increased the pressure and also added a wrap of the glass fiber reinforced Scotch strapping tape. We slowly increased the pressure all the way up to 185 psi. This was also our own new personal record for the highest launch pressure. For this test we made sure everyone was well clear of the rocket when it was being filled.

    You could certainly see the effect of the higher pressure on the takeoff speed and hear the sound it makes. We are not sure how high it goes, but a flight time of 7.2 seconds was achieved. The rocket is very light and has a medium density foam nosecone. It doesn't use any parachute deployment or backsliding technique for recovery.
  • We dusted off our older rocket OO, but when we launched it it spiraled quite significantly. When it landed we noticed that the fin supports had sagged to one side quite significantly. This was caused by the rocket being stored vertically standing on its fins. This was our own fault as we didn't check the fin alignment prior to launch.

Flight Record

Launch Rocket Pressure (PSI) Notes
1 Frankovka III 130 Flown with a camera, and the computer was set for 4.75 second deploy. Used 9mm nozzle.
2 Frankovka III 130 Flown without a camera, computer set for 4.75 seconds. Parachute deployed when expected, but canopy did not open and rocket crashed heavily. Nosecone and payload section destroyed.
3 J4 130 This was an excellent flight with a good deploy and landed well. Used 7mm nozzle.
4 J4 135 Again a very good straight flight. with a good deploy.
5 OO 135 We used the 7mm nozzle with this rocket for the first time, it spiraled quite a bit on the way up. The parachute opened after apogeee.
6 J4 135 We used a 9mm nozzle this time. The flight was very straight and very high again. Good deploy a nice landing.
7 J4 135 9mm nozzle. Good flight but the parachute deployed early, this caused the nosecone tether to rip off from the rocket but tied itself around the main chute lines. Canopy did not open and rocket crashed.
8 J4 135 Good flight, 9mm nozzle. The wind started picking up.
9 John John 135 Good normal flight. 9mm nozzle.
10 John John 160 Good flight. Highest launch pressure to date.
11 John John 170 Great flight. Again highest pressure to date.
12 Clifford 135 Perfect flight, used 7 mm nozzle. This currently stands as our longest duration flight of 48.2 seconds. The parachute deployed right at apogee.
13 Clifford 135 Good flight, but the parachute deployed early. 7mm nozzle.
14 OO 135 OK flight, but the rocket spiraled a little, but the nosecone didn't come off. The rocket hit the ground pretty hard, but no significant damage was done.
15 John John 185 Highest pressure to date one more time. Rocket used a 7mm nozzle and the takeoff speed difference was noticeable. We used about 200ml of water
16 John John 185 Used 7mm nozzle and 400ml of water, the takeoff was a tad slower and the rocket did not go as high.


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