Indiana Rocketry November 2013

November 16th, 2013

/ Ash Grove Site

1 flight, 7600 N-sec burned

Though the weather looked poor all week, the Indiana Rocketry crew soldiered on and headed to Ash Grove for our first big field launch of the season. Things turned out surprisingly well-the skies opened up and the breeze was manageable, allowing lots of cool flights over the course of the day. The Purdue AAE 439 class was there to fly their rockets, and so of course I had to fly something, too.

Flight 1: IQSY Tomahawk, PPL M1850

The overcast morning did not bode well for my flight, but at about 2 in the afternoon things started to clear, so I pulled the two pieces out of the car and started putting it together. Foxy loaned me some electrical tape and an igniter, and Devin helped me shove in the shear pins. Before I could load it, I had to bug Gus (who had just showed up) to set up his pad. With that taken care of, my roommates Jonathan and Eric helped me schlep the 50 lb bird through RSO and to the pad. Eric Merrill helped me put it on the rail, and after raising it up and angling it into the wind a little bit, I armed the avionics and installed the igniter. The new MARSA54 powered up and behaved well-I, of course, had to fly it because John Dermiggio was on site-and then it was back to the flight line for the launch. Richard Cash was on the button and I snapped photos as the rocket cleared the rail on a long string of orange shock waves; much to my chagrin, the liftoff photo is backfocused, womp womp. The rocket boosted nicely, weathercocking into the breeze, and disappeared at burnout. I had a good signal on the tracker, but soon Tom McFee spotted it on the way down, just as the mains opened at 1000 feet. The rocket landed next to the road again, making recovery easy. However, I noticed a big black splotch on the payload section, and working my way down the shock cord to the booster, I noticed a big crack in the fillet along the base of the black fin. My guess is that the Skyangle drogue just couldn't compete with the big fins in the windy conditions, allowing the payload section to smack the booster on the way down; time to step up to something bigger. The main chute also had an encounter with the barbed wire fence next to the road. Other than that, though, everything came back in one piece. A little epoxy and ripstop and we'll be back to live action.

Altitude: 8,378 ft

I like to design, build, and fly rockets. PostFlight started as a project to help me keep track of them. Now I've opened it up so you can follow along, too.
I fly with:
Indiana Rocketry, Inc. MDRA
Hey! What are you doing down here? The rocket stuff (yea, it's © 2017 David Reese) is up there!