Each flight log entry usually
represents a launch or test day, and describes the
events that took place.
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Day 43 -
Setting up Hyperon II rocket, after Hyperon
I's wild ride.
Hyperon I still together.
Hyperon II in-flight apogee photo.
Hyperon II images Damo's spaceport. Altitude
Damo setting up a teddy bear launch.
Collaborative effort in setting up the
Tachyon II sustainer with Damo's 6-splice
The booster is 10L and sustainer 2.5L. The
stack uses a crushing sleeve mechanism for
You can see the camera strapped to the
booster with black tape.
Damo performing final preparations before
High acceleration launch at 100psi.
Results of parachute not opening on the
2007 11:00am - 4:00 pm
Location:Near Braidwood NSW
partly cloudy, light breeze,
(click the name for rocket details)
A sustainer normally flown with
the Acceleron IIIb booster, on this
day was flown on the 6-splice
Team Members at
GK, AK, JK, PK and DH & family from Damo's
On this flight day we visited Damien Hart
and his family from
Damo's Water Rockets.
It was an excellent day of launching rockets
and at the end of it we managed to combine
Damo's booster and our sustainer for a
two-stage flight. It was good
to get some launches in again after about a
month's break. Damo is very well set up for
launching rockets because he is able to
launch them right outside his shed. Damo has
a really good write-up about the flight day
and his rockets:
(lots of videos too). I'll mostly cover the
flights of our rockets in this update.
Flight Day Events
We arrived at Damo's space port
about 10:30am and it didn't take long
before we had a couple of launch pads
set up and started launching rockets.
Damo flew his 5 and 6-splice rockets
and they performed really well, with
splendid parachute deploys.
Damo also demonstrated his FTC
rockets which was great to see first
hand, and also
very cool TPASD deployment system
in action. On one particular occasion
the parachute deployed but did not open
and the FTC rocket speared into the
ground. It's quite amazing how tough
these things are. I also understood why
Damo had me move my car into his garage.
Hyperon's first flight went very
well, though there was a minor leak
around the nozzle. Either I didn't tighten
it properly or the washer was pinched.
Despite a bit of water leak we launched
it and it flew straight up. I used
a 9mm nozzle for this one, with a good
deployment right around apogee.
We then had a go at launching the
Hyperon rocket with a 7mm nozzle and
foam. We both knew from previous
experience that foam and and small
nozzles can produce very wild flights
and we weren't disappointed. The rocket
took off well but soon started pitching
over and continued flying in a big arc
until the flying fox line set up in
Damo's back yard split the rocket in
half with a half a dozen pieces flying
everywhere. There was still a bit of
pressure in the rocket so the split
looked even better.
Luckily the rocket didn't sustain too
much damage. The deployment
system was unusable because the launch
detect switch had detached itself but
this can be fixed easily. One of the fins
had also shattered as it hit the line.
One good thing that came out of it was
that it showed the modular Hyperon Standard
works well in the field. The removable fin
assembly was just slipped off, and the
deployment system was replaced with one
from the Tachyon sustainer and the
rocket was simply screwed back together
with the Robinson couplings.
Within 10 minutes we had a new rocket
- Hyperon II on the pad. In the process we
also increased the capacity by another 1.25L
bottle for a total of 6.25L.
We flew the Hyperon II rocket a
couple of times and both times it
performed well. On the second flight we
taped the video camera to the side of
the rocket and obtained good
Using the similar triangles method and
the length of Damo's roof the altitude
was calculated to be ~104 meters.
The second flight without the drag and
weight penalty of the rocket, and having
had a little more pressure likely
achieved around 115m.
We also pressure tested a spliced
rocket that Damo spliced together using
a glued called
VISE. The splice was half
Selley's Sikaflex and half VISE. The
rocket burst at 130 psi on the launcher.
We were both happy to see that the new
glue held up really well. It seems to
have held better than the Sikaflex. We are going
to try gluing some splices with only
this glue and see how well it performs.
For the grand finale of the day we
decided to launch a join effort, using
Damo's big 6-splice booster and our
Tachyon sustainer. We also used Damo's
crushing sleeve staging mechanism for
improvised the sustainer/booster support
with a piece of FTC and a skirt made
plastic. The parachute deploy for the
booster was achieved by tucking the
parachute under the support skirt. Damo
also mounted his wireless camera on the
booster looking up.
We decided not to put any water in the
sustainer to reduce the amount force put
on the crushing sleeve mechanism during
The launch went well and the staging was
right on cue. The sustainer flew off
nice and straight, but without the water
the potential altitude wasn't realised.
The booster landed well under parachute,
but on the sustainer the parachute
failed to open and it hit the ground
I had a close look later
at the damaged nosecone and the flight
computer was still working and sending
signals to the servo. The launch detect
switch was also in working order so it
didn't look like the flight computer was
the cause. Unless I forgot to arm it,
but I am pretty sure I double checked.
One thing that was quite evident was the
way the door release pin was bent. I had
to pull quite hard to unlock it to open
the door. My current best guess is that
with the big booster and the full bore
nozzle, and the high acceleration may
have allowed high speed air under the
top of the parachute door. The force on
the door would likely have been enough
to bend the pin in the latch mechanism
so when it came to pulling the pin, it
was stuck and the servo did not have
enough force to pull it out.
Dragracer warned us about this potential
problem. But with our low G takeoff's we
hadn't seen this problem before. It is
something that is relatively easy to fix
and will be incorporated with the
(If the video does not play, try the latest
Flash player from Macromedia)
Although there was a bit of carnage,
it allowed us to pack the rockets in the
back of the car easier. Most of
it should be quite easy to repair.
Used a 9mm nozzle.
Flight computer setting was set to "7".
Minor leak around nozzle, but launched
anyway. Flight was good, with good
Used 7mm nozzle and
foam. Small leak around nozzle again.
Rocket pitched over in a slow arc and
split when it hit a steel wire. Nosecone
damaged. Not enough time to deploy
parachute. Fins damaged.
Very good straight
flight. Used 9mm nozzle, and had some
residual foam in it. Parachute opened at
apogee and rocket landed well.
Very good straight
flight. Used 9mm nozzle. Flown with
camera taped to side. Good in-flight
video Parachute opened right at apogee
and rocket landed well. (can hear servo
Tachyon II and
Used Damo's crushing
sleeve nozzle, and extra skirting for
support. Very good flight and separated
well mid air. Parachute failed to open
and suffered major damage to payload
section. Reason for deploy failure