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represents a launch or test day, and describes the
events that took place.
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Day 34 -
It takes about 45 minutes to set up all
three launchers and rockets for the first
Pressurised and ready to go.
Finally a simultaneous launch of all three
A view from onboard J4 II looking back at
Acceleron II zip past. Paul and John watching on
... A few moments later, "OO" is seen also
overtaking J4 II.
Although the launch was nearly simultaneous,
the foam inside J4 II and OO made them take off
a lot slower. Acceleron II just makes foam on
All three rockets shown just as the
A close-up of J4 II just before landing.
Attempt number 3. All the rockets are filled
with a water/bubble bath mix.
J4 II and Acceleron II (upper right)
returning to earth.
Just before complete sunrise ... it's
raining rockets already.
J4 II on a wild foam ride.
2007 6:45am -
Denzil Joyce Oval. (launch site #4)
Conditions:Lightly overcast and cooler temperatures.
Calm at first, light breeze later.
(click the name for rocket details)
This rocket remained in the same
configuration since it last flew.
Team Members at
PK, GK, John K and Paul K. Number
We enjoyed the triple launches last time,
but since we didn't get a true synchronised
launch of all three rockets we decided to
have another attempt. The launches looked
like vertical races, as they would overtake
each other on the way up.
Flight Day Events
For the first attempt we were going to
fly three rockets as well as having two
on-board cameras on different rockets so
that they could film each other. Only one
of the videos came out, but it managed to
capture the other two rockets in flight.
We are not sure why the other camera
didn't record anything. It could have been
caused by the landing interrupting the
power supply or I simply didn't press the
shutter release button properly.
For this we just used a big piece of
gaffer tape to tape the camera onto the
side of the rocket.
The secondary parachute on Acceleron
II became tangled between the booster
segments but luckily the main chute was
enough to bring it down to a safe landing.
On two of the three occasions we were
able to get all three launched at exactly
the same time. On the third attempt we put
bubble bath in with the water for all
three rockets. Acceleron doesn't use Jet
Foaming, and also doesn't produce foam
during filling and so its thrust was more
or less that of normal water. It sure
created lots of foam on and around the
launch pad though.
There were no real hard landings
during the day so we only have a few minor
repairs for next time.
On Acceleron II's second flight it
managed to break its previous flight time
record. Its new flight time record is
On Acceleron II's last flight the
bottom aluminium bracket was bent on
landing and so will need to be
straightened and re-aligned. Acceleron is
about to get an upgrade so it is a good
time to pull it apart again.
On J4 II's last flight it came down
virtually on top of Peter. He saw it
coming as he was looking up at it, and
tried to catch it. It was coming down
under parachute so it wasn't too
We flew J4 II alone with foam in the
last three flights so the kids could have
a turn launching them. It is quite evident
at how slow and out of control those
flights are. I think the fins need to be
placed a long way back in order to have a
more stable flight when using foam.
The parachute deployed early on all
three foam flights. On a couple of them
the parachute was fully open while the
rocket was still thrusting. That makes for
a nice corkscrew effect.
Having used up all the water we
brought with us - about 24 liters, we
decided to call it a day. All in all it
was a very enjoyable launch day, with no
major dramas, and the rockets performed
really well. We will now do some more work
on Acceleron II to increase its capacity
as well as, replace J4's payload section
with v1.3 Flight computer to stop those
Polaron IV is also under construction so
we will most likely fly it on our next
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