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Flight Log Updates

#190 - Polaron G3

#189 - Casual Flights

#188 - Skittles Part #2

#187 - Skittles Part #1

#186 - Level 1 HPR

#185 - Liquids in Zero-G

#184 - More Axion G6

#183 - Axion G6

#182 - Casual Flights

#181 - Acoustic Apogee 2

#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)

 

FLIGHT LOG

Each flight log entry usually represents a launch or test day, and describes the events that took place.
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Day 43 - Hyperon Flights
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 ~104m.
Damo setting up a teddy bear launch.
Collaborative effort in setting up the Tachyon II sustainer with Damo's 6-splice booster.
The booster is 10L and sustainer 2.5L. The stack uses a crushing sleeve mechanism for staging.
You can see the camera strapped to the booster with black tape.
Damo performing final preparations before launch.
High acceleration launch at 100psi.
Staging
Results of parachute not opening on the sustainer.
Date: 9th September 2007   11:00am - 4:00 pm
Location:
Near Braidwood NSW
Conditions:
Cool and partly cloudy, light breeze,
Rockets:
(click the name for rocket details)
 
Name Capacity Notes
Hyperon I 5L New rocket based on the Hyperon standard platform
Hyperon II 6.25L New rocket configured on the day to extend the capacity of Hyperon II and swap out damaged parts.
Tachyon II 2.5L A sustainer normally flown with the Acceleron IIIb booster, on this day was flown on the 6-splice booster.

Team Members at Event: GK, AK, JK, PK and DH & family from Damo's Water Rockets.

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: here (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 Dragracer's 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 Platform 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 in-flight footage.

    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 this. We improvised the sustainer/booster support with a piece of FTC and a skirt made from PET 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 launch.

    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 pretty hard. 

    What happened?

    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 repairs.


(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.

Flight Record

Launch Rocket Pressure (PSI) Notes
1 Hyperon I 100 Used a 9mm nozzle. Flight computer setting was set to "7". Minor leak around nozzle, but launched anyway. Flight was good, with good deploy.
2 Hyperon I 110 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.
3 Hyperon II 120 Very good straight flight. Used 9mm nozzle, and had some residual foam in it. Parachute opened at apogee and rocket landed well.
4 Hyperon II 125 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 motor)
5 Tachyon II and
6-splice
100 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 inconclusive.

 

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