Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Launch!

George and I met at Grover's Park on Saturday afternoon to launch our new rockets.

We started with lower-thrust engines, to make sure we could retrieve our rockets-- I'd hate to lose them on the first try. We had a pretty good day! Aside from one misfire launching the Hi Jinks (we never determined the cause of a lack of ignition), all six launches consisted of successful ignition, vertical flight, deployment, and recovery close to the launch site.

Our first launch of each rocket was powered by an ESTES A8-3 engine, which is one of the lowest-power model rocket engines.  After all went well, we then launched with ESTES B4-4 engines.  Generally speaking, each letter grade of these rocket engines produces twice the total thrust of the previous letter, so we should expect the B4-4s to produce roughly twice the thrust of the A8-3s.  I was impressed to see the rockets fly quite a bit higher on the B engines, and when I timed the total flight of each rocket later on video, the B-powered flights took twice sa long to reach the ground again.

LaunchRocketEngineStatus
1RascalA8-3Successful flight and recovery
2Hi JinksA8-3Misfire
3Hi JinksA8-3Successful flight and recovery
4RascalB4-4Successful flight and recovery
5Hi JinksB4-4Successful flight and recovery
6RascalB4-4Successful flight and recovery
7Hi JinksA8-3Successful flight and recovery


This video shows George's first launch using the lower-powered engine:



Here's an unedited video of a flight powered by the higher-thrust B4-4 engine (sorry I lot track of the rocket for a bit).  I recommend blowing this up to full screen to see the tiny rocket up so high!



video

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