Saturday, September 09, 2006

Another launch!

Just got back from another satisfying launch, only my second as a BAR. The Thunderhawk logged two more flights, both successful, although she did crack a fin on the second landing. The day's workhorse was the Laughing Cow Saucer, a small flying saucer made from a cardboard cheese container. It had three perfect flights on 18mm motors.

I also had some less-than-perfect flights. I built another Hefty Serve 'N Store saucer to replace the first one, which I gave away after the last launch. The new saucer only flew once today, if "flew" is the right word. I relied on the friction fit to keep the motor in place. I should have used a few turns of tape, like I usually do. Right after it left the launch rod, the motor flew out of the saucer. The two plates got separated and a little scorched, but they didn't melt and I was able to put them back together with no problems. The naked motor probably cleared 300 feet. I'm sure it would have gone completely out of sight if it hadn't burned half its propellant getting free of the airframe.

I also launched a couple of garbage rocs. The Fiber Boost had a couple of unstable flights before I realized that it needs some nose weight and grounded it. The Evil Toothfairy's Flying La-BOR-a-tree of Dental Torment had a name longer than its flying career. As with the Hefty saucer, the problem was a lack of positive motor retention. The ejection charge blew the motor out of the fuselage and failed to deploy the streamer. The rocket pranged, hard, from several hundred feet up, onto asphalt. It was utterly, utterly destroyed. I really wish I'd taken the camera with me when I went to recover it. It was just a hilarious pile of smashed debris.

In fact, I neglected to take any photos today, other than the reference photos taken by our new video camera. But I did get some decent videos, including this one.


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