Perchlorathon March 2009

March 15th, 2009

/ Lucerne Dry Lake

1 flight, 1300 N-sec burned

It was a windy day at the playa. Rick Maschek had a motor to static test for the SS2S project, which went off without a hitch. By the time he had finished, the breeze was calming a bit, and I decided to prep my 3" Inspector Gadget to fly a 1400 N-sec blue motor. My friend Chris was also there, busily working on his brand new LOC Caliber so he could give it a shakedown flight on a 4-grain red I motor. Though the day didn't end up exactly as we'd planned, it was still a pretty sweet launch.

Flight 1: Inspector Gadget, PPL K700

By the time I was finished prepping, the breeze had calmed to the point where I could fly. I put Inspector Gadget on the pad, hooked up the clips, armed the ARTS, checked for aircraft, and my friend Chris hit the button. The fast blue K700 lit up quick and gave Inspector Gadget a quick ride up to 6000 feet or so. After motor burnout, I flipped the CSI receiver on and listened to the happy beeps from the transmitter. Then, slowly, they began to increase in pitch until suddenly: beep---beep---beep---beep--------- silence. Oops. From the impact crater, we retrieved the fins, the tubular Kevlar shock cord, the aft rail button, two payload section attachment screws, the nozzle and bulkhead from the motor, and enough motor case to make a 54/1050. Post-mortem indicated that the battery holder failed under the acceleration loading; that's what I get for using cheap zip ties. But, on the upside, Frank Kosdon personally excavated my rocket for me. How many people can say that?!
Inspector Gadget on a PPL K700
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