last updated: 21st october 2023 - Day 226 to Day 230 - Various Experiments

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Flight Log Updates

#230 - Tajfun 2 L2

#229 - Mac Uni AON

#228 - Tajfun 2 Elec.

#227 - Zip Line

#226 - DIY Barometer

#225 - Air Pressure Exp.

#224 - Tajfun 2

#221 - Horizon Deploy

#215 - Deployable Boom

#205 - Tall Tripod

#204 - Horizon Deploy

#203 - Thunda 2

#202 - Horizon Launcher

#201 - Flour Rockets

#197 - Dark Shadow II

#196 - Coming Soon

#195 - 3D Printed Rocket

#194 - TP Roll Drop

#193 - Coming Soon

#192 - Stager Tests

#191 - Horizon

#190 - Polaron G3

#189 - Casual Flights

#188 - Skittles Part #2

#187 - Skittles Part #1

#186 - Level 1 HPR

#185 - Liquids in Zero-G

#184 - More Axion G6

#183 - Axion G6

#182 - Casual Flights

#181 - Acoustic Apogee 2

#180 - Light Shadow

#179 - Stratologger

#178 - Acoustic Apogee 1

#177 - Reefing Chutes

#176 - 10 Years

#175 - NSWRA Events

#174 - Mullaley Launch

#173 - Oobleck Rocket

#172 - Coming Soon

#171 - Measuring Altitude

#170 - How Much Water?

#169 - Windy

#168 - Casual Flights 2

#167 - Casual Flights

#166 - Dark Shadow II

#165 - Liquid Density 2

#164 - Liquid Density 1

#163 - Channel 7 News

#162 - Axion and Polaron

#161 - Fog and Boom

#1 to #160 (Updates)



Each flight log entry usually represents a launch or test day, and describes the events that took place.
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Day 28 - Foam Flights and 15mm Nozzle
Getting ready to fly Polaron III. Water is still only in the lower bottle. We tip the launcher over to get water into the next bottle up.
Rocket is pressurised (low density foam in upper bottles)
The foam trail extended almost all the way to apogee.
J4 II launching with the Jet Foaming technique.
Polaron IIIs last ever image. The white blob is part of the fuselage, and a fin can be seen in the lower right.
Now it will be easier to pack in the back of the car.
It would have been fun to see it hit the ground as it broke up.
An image from Google Earth showing the take off point and where it landed. The park is getting too small!
Jordan ready to fly with a 15mm nozzle and a launch tube.
Transition to air pulse.
Date: 11th March 2007      6:45am - 8:30am
Denzil Joyce Oval. (launch site #4)
Clear skies and Mild temperatures. Very light breeze.
(click the name for rocket details)
Name Capacity Notes
Polaron III 8 L This rocket remained in the same configuration since the last launch event.
J4 II 5 L This rocket remained in the same configuration as the last launch event.
Jordan 1.25 L The rocket was fitted with a 15mm Gardena nozzle.

Team Members at Launch Event: PK, GK, John K and Paul K.
Number of launches: 5

We were really looking forward to today, after almost a month of tests we were going to fly both the foam and the baffle to see how static fire tests compare with the real thing.

Flight Day Events

  • First off the pad was Polaron III. Since it was a first for us in using foam we decided not to fly the camera. From the tests we were expecting that the thrust will be fairly low on take off and so the rocket could tip over and fly horizontally! We also saw in the tests that the thrust phase was a lot longer, so we decided to set the deploy delay a little later too.

    We pressurised it to 120psi and launched. The rocket took off real slow and proceeded to accelerate leaving a beautiful foam trail behind it. It almost looked like a pyro rocket. The rocket arced over gently and the parachute deployed soon after the thrust phase so it didn't coast for too long. The total flight time was 29.88 seconds which was probably the longest for this rocket at this pressure. (typical flight is ~27 seconds for 130psi) Although we don't have qualitative measurements yet, we believe that foam even without a CD nozzle improved the rockets performance, but it is too early to tell - more tests are needed. The three seconds may no sound like much but the rocket was only at 120 psi, probably carried about 100 - 150 mL more water than usual, and the parachute deployed a little early.

    (If the video does not play, try the latest Flash player from Macromedia)

    Compare the thrust profile for the same rocket at 130 psi pressure but with a normal water/air mix here: Day 25 Highlights video.

  • The noise produced by the rocket is also very different to normal water/air mix. The audio is a more continuous noise with occasional hick-ups but no definite air pulse.
  • We loaded it up again and this time put the camera in it. The rocket took off slowly again at a bit of an angle and proceeded to accelerate but now flying quite pitched over. We watched it disappear on the other side of the river. We did not see the chute deploy, and there was a cheer from the neighbouring baseball game. It took us about 10 minutes to find it, completely destroyed. The flight computer was still on, and the parachute was out, but not the secondary parachute. The main chute probably came out after impact. The camera survived and provided an interesting point of view of the flight. Later on Google Earth we measured the distance to the impact site from the launcher and it was over 200 meters. We are still investigating why the parachute failed to deploy. Well another excuse to rebuild the rocket - parts of it can be reused.
  • We also flew J4 II with the foam and it also had a nice take off and left a great foam trail. The parachute deployed a little early, and the rocket landed well.
  • We weren't game to test the 7mm nozzle as the total thrust on takeoff  is even less. We will try the 7mm nozzle with higher pressures.
  • Because of the Polaron III crash we weren't able to fly the baffle to see what effect it has on flight. It will have to wait for the rebuild.
  • We also tested an older rocket - Jordan with the 15mm nozzle and a 300mm launch tube. Quite a difference in take off speed is evident, and sounds more like a gun shot than the typical restricted nozzle flights. The rocket flew nice and high and survived the landing well despite having no recovery system.
  • The launcher also sprung a leak at the hand tightened nut that attaches the different release mechanisms. We'll have to figure out why, but it is most likely that it just wasn't tight enough as we swapped the release mechanisms. It has been sealing fine up this point.

Flight Record

Launch Rocket Pressure (PSI) Notes
1 Polaron III 120 The rocket used Jet Foaming technique with about 60mL of bubble bath. (9 mm nozzle).
Beautiful flight with slow take off and a long sustained acceleration. Computer setting was 8 and the parachute probably opened a little early not allowing the rocket to coast to apogee.
2 Polaron III 120 The rocket used Jet Foaming technique with about 60mL of bubble bath. Same configuration as flight #1 but the with a camera added. Rocket tipped over soon after launch and from the video we saw that it picked up a bit of spin. Parachute didn't open and the rocket was destroyed. Landed over 200 meters from launch site.
3 J4 II 120 The rocket used Jet Foaming technique with about 60mL of bubble bath. Great flight with a long contrail but the chute opened a little early just after the thrust phase. Good landing.
4 Jordan 120 First time tested with a 15mm Gardena nozzle and a 300mm launch tube. Very fast take off and fairly high. Landed well and was undamaged.
5 Jordan 120 Tested again with an almost identical flight profile to launch #4. Rocket was undamaged.

Notes to Self

  • Put a beeper on the rocket to make it easier to find.

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