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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.
Click on an image to view a larger image, and click the browser's BACK button to return back to the page.

Day 11 - Record Flight
Brotanek II ready to go.
Posing next to "OO" prior to record setting flight.
okay, just one more kiss for the road ...
And there it goes.
Coming back down. Ground was reached 31.5 seconds after blast off.
Jordan with a blue paint job. Perhaps we should have used a dark blue to make it easier to see.
Little Man II after a 145psi flight. You can see the re-enforcing tape on the lower part of the picture.
Second take off for "OO"...
... ended in a pretty spectacular fashion.
It took about 15 minutes to repair before it flew again.
Date: 26th August 2006  7:15am - 9:00am

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: Overcast, light breeze, ground damp, mild temperatures.

Rockets:

Name Capacity Notes
Little Man II 1.25 L Equipped with whistles. This one goes pretty high. This rocket remained in the same configuration as the last flight day.
Spek III 2 L This was the same rocket as the last flight day equipped with a digital video camera  module. The rocket remained in the same configuration. 
Jordan 1.25 L A rocket that has flown many missions. It has remained in the same configuration since last launch day.
"OO" 2 x 1.25 L This is a 2 bottle rocket joined at the base, with a parachute recovery system. The rocket remained in the same configuration since the last launch day, with improved support for the parachute in the nosecone.
Brotanek II 1.25 L This rocket has also been around for a while. This rocket remained in the same configuration.

Team Members: PK and GK.

Number of launches: 13

Welcome back to our frequent visitors from London, and Latvia, (you know who you are :) Why not send us an email if you have any questions?).

Events

  • This was a good flight day again. We managed to set a couple of personal records again. "OO" set the first one by taking 31.5 seconds to come back to earth. That's 30 times longer than our very first flights with the horizontal launcher, and about 6 times longer than our first vertical launch.
     

  • Flight time record for Air Command Team

     
  • The second record was set for highest launch pressure. Little Man II was launched with a pressure of 145psi (~10 bar). Prior to launch we re-enforced its widest section with about 3 loops of Gaffer (Duck) tape.  It flew nice and straight and whistled well. One thing that is apparent that the whistles only work at certain air speeds, too fast or too slow they don't whistle.
  • On "OO" 's second flight the parachutes didn't deploy, and it came down at full speed from around 100m. It spectacularly exploded as it hit the ground with lots of pieces of rocket flying everywhere. That would have done some damage if it landed on something.
  • Surprisingly we managed to repair "OO" in the field for one more flight, and it held up remarkably well. It's amazing what a bit of tape and pliers will do. :)
  • On its third flight of the day it went well, except one of the parachutes became tangled and did not fully open, luckily the second opened fully and brought to rocket to a safe landing.
  • We tried an air only test with John John and a fairly restricted nozzle. As expected the rocket didn't perform very well, but because we were at the end of the battery charge, we couldn't quite get the pressure we needed.
  • The remainder of the flights were good and I think we have solved the bad nozzle problem from last time.

Flight Record

Launch Rocket Pressure (PSI) Notes
1 Spek III 120 Good flight, equipped with video camera. Good landing.
2 "OO" 120 Perfect flight, very high and straight, parachutes deployed well and just after apogee. Rocket landed not far from the launch pad. New record of 31.5seconds flight time.
3 "OO" 120 Very high and straight, parachutes didn't open, spectacular explosion on impact with bits flying everywhere.
4 Brotanek II 140 Straight up but a bit wobbly. Chute deployed at apogee, good landing.
5 John John 130 Good flight, 1/2 full of water.
6 Jordan 120 A bit of a wild start, but overall a good flight.
7 Brotanek II 120 Okay flight, chute deployed early and the nosecone was ripped off from its line.
8 Little Man II 145 Highest pressure to date. Little Man II was reinforced in a section with Gaffer (Duck) tape. Went pretty high and straight up. Good whistles on the way up and down.
9 Little Man II 20 Air only - to straighten out the bottle. Altitude about 1m.
10 "OO" 110 Field repaired from flight #3, good straight flight, parachutes opened past apogee, but one chute was tangled. The other slowed is sufficiently for a good landing.
11 John John 102 battery running low on the compressor, good flight.
12 John John 80 Little bit of water and equipped with a narrow nozzle. Unremarkable flight.
13 John John ? Air only with a narrow nozzle, using up the last of the battery power - altitude ~5m.

Notes to self

  • Buy a bigger battery.
Day 12 - Crashes
Paul wanted to try to video tape a launch. He did a pretty good job.
"OO" watering the oval.
Rockets flight tested on this day, with the exception of Jordan.
New nosecone on Spek III. You can see the camera sticking out.
New spring loaded parachute deployment mechanism on "OO"
"OO" now only has one parachute.
..3...2...1...you know....
"OO" post landing. You can see the disk of balsa wood on the nose of the rocket. It supports the parachute during takeoff.
Rocket is going mostly vertical, but you can't quite say the same for the photographer.
Date: 27th August 2006  7:30am - 8:15am

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: Great weather, cloudless sky, mild temperatures, slight breeze.

Rockets:

Name Capacity Notes
Little Man II 1.25 L Equipped with whistles. This one goes pretty high. Remained in the same configuration since last flight day.
Spek III 2 L This was the same rocket as the last flight day equipped with a digital video camera  module. The rocket remained in the same configuration. 
"OO" 2 x 1.25 L This is a 2 bottle rocket joined at the base, with a parachute recovery system. Since last flight day one of the parachutes was removed and a spring mechanism was fitted to the nosecone. A weight was added to the nosecone too.
John John 600mL This is our smallest rocket and has performed well. It was tested with a 7mm nozzle on this day.

Team Members: PK, GK, AK, Paul and John.

Number of launches: 7

This was a short campaign, mainly to test "OO" 's new parachute deployment system. We also tried a couple of smaller experiments to see their effects. We had to terminate the day short due to other commitments and also the fact that a football team was going to use the oval for their training. Although we had the firepower to keep them off the field, the reload time was too long and our position would have been over run. 

Events

  • Parachute problems: The first rocket for the day was Spek III. I had made a new more streamlined nosecone for the rocket to make sure it had the least amount of drag. The camera was all primed and rolling. On the way up while the rocket was still going pretty fast, the nosecone came off and the parachute deployed and subsequently was ripped off, and the rocket still kept going up quite a ways. I think you can imagine what I said at the time. The rocket came straight down and smacked into the ground. The camera housing was a little buckled but the camera didn't appear to have sustained any damage. I tried to turn it on to make sure it still worked but there was no response. The battery was rattling around inside. It looked as if the G forces on the battery were so great on impact that it buckled the spring contact inside the camera.
    I was hoping I could still recover the video at least, but when I finally managed to get power to the camera, I noticed that there was no movie. Bummer! When the camera stops recording, it needs a few seconds to process the video before it can store it internally. Because the camera was still rolling on impact, the loss of power prevented the camera from storing the movie properly. I am going to place the battery externally to the camera for future flights so this does not happen again. The reason for the chute coming off is partly a chute design issue. the parachute is attached only by a single cord to the rocket, and the string broke at the knot on the rocket.
    We use kite string for the parachute lines. I think I will have to add a second redundant string to the main chute lines to make sure that doesn't happen again. I don't like adding more strings to the rocket because I want to minimize potential for tangles. "OO" 's chutes are attached at 4 points on the rocket so that is okay.
  • I'm not sure this was an official flight, but as we were filling Little Man II, all of a sudden it took off by itself. We weren't looking at it and no one was near the release cord. I think the rocket wasn't properly locked down in the launcher. This is one to watch out for!
  • We flew 3 missions with the improved "OO" rocket. The twin chutes were replaced by a single chute as well. The spring loaded nosecone release mechanism worked well deploying the chute around apogee in all three instances. On one occasion the chute became tangled and didn't provide enough braking force and the rocket hit harder than we would have liked. The upper bottle was crushed quite a bit, but we popped it out and the rocket flew again.
  • All of "OO" 's flight were very straight and high, so we are happy with the design. I think we will have to mount the camera to this one. I believe most of these flights were in the 90-100 meter range. All these flights were at launched at 130psi.
  • We did a nozzle experiment with John John. We placed a piece of plastic across the nozzle hole under the seal. The plastic had a 7mm hole in it. I was trying to reproduce the effect we had with the bad nozzles of the water spraying in a wide angle, but in a controlled direction. The test was not successful and the rocket flew a normal flight profile although slightly slower on take off. The column of water was normally shaped.
  • After Little Man II's and John John's flights, the bottles have become quite buckled and crushed, so they will be replaced.

We have a new rocket planned that we will build over the next couple of weeks, that is bigger than what we have built before, with several new features. Stay tuned ...

Flight Record

Launch Rocket Pressure (PSI) Notes
1 Spek III 120 Chute ripped off on the way up. Rocket crashed hard with minor damage to the camera. In-flight movie not recovered.
2 Little Man II ? Self launched, looked like a normal flight, pressure was likely to have been ~70psi
3 Little Man II 100 Good flight, Paul did a good job of video taping it, the bottle suffered enough damage to need replacing.
4 "OO" 130 Excellent flight, nice and straight and very high, parachute deployed near apogee, good landing.
5 "OO" 130 Very good flight again, chute deployed, but was tangled so never properly inflated and rocket landed hard. The nose was crushed but repairable.
6 "OO" 130 Excellent flight, chute deployed after apogee and was tangled for about half the way down, but then fully opened and rocket landed well.
7 John John 100 Half filled with water using a further restricted nozzle to 7mm. Good flight was achieved, but experiment failed to achieve objective. Bottle was crushed on impact, so will have to be replaced.

Notes to self

  • Make sure the rocket is properly locked down in the launcher. Assume it can take off at any moment.

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