Perchlorathon August 2007

August 12th, 2007

/ Lucerne Dry Lake

2 flights, 3743 N-sec burned

After the rush of LDRS, it was nice to return to the home lakebed and fly a few under low-stress conditions. I put up (kind of) two rockets, with varying degrees of success. It was good to hang out with Frank (as always), though, and there's nothing like flying an L1860 from the minimum safe distance!

Flight 1: 8 Ball, PPL J90SP

The weather was calm, and so things looked perfect to test a new 1.5 grain sparky load in the all-paper 8 ball. This was about as minimum a rocket as it could have flown in, and so Todd and I decided to load it up and try it. The motor lit after a five count, but slowly -- the low-solids propellant wasn't happy at the relatively low Kn, and the motor pushed with all its might to slowly clear the rail. The rocket settled over into a lazy horizontal arc, and eventually impacted downrange before the G-Wiz could think to put the chute out. (I doubt it ever detected liftoff.) Nerds. From the wreckage we salvaged the motor hardware and the recovery system, to be rebuilt into 8 Ball v2.
8 Ball on a PPL J90SP

Flight 2: Competitor 4, Kosdon L1860

After my last flight was somewhat, um, underpowered, I decided to turn the knob all the way to the other end of the spectrum. I traded in one of my remaining L850S reloads for an L1860F, and put together the Competitor to take it. We got the rocket on the pad in record time, Todd called out the count, and hit the button. Instantly, the motor screamed to life and blasted the rocket into the air atop a seven foot ratty orange flame. LOVES IT. After just over a second, the thunder suddenly ceased, and the rocket began a long, quiet coast to apogee. We were greeted with separation, and the rocket began its long, drogueless ride down to 1000 feet for main deployment. But 1000 came and went, and the Competitor came smashing into the lakebed floor, busting off a fin and cracking the nose cone shoulder. Post-mortem indicated that the ARTS browned out at apogee, resetting it and removing any chance of firing the main charge. Hm. Lower current e-matches or two batteries next time.

Altitude: 8,439 ft

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