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#230 - Tajfun 2 L2

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#1 to #160 (Updates)



Each flight log entry usually represents a launch or test day, and describes the events that took place.
Click on an image to view a larger image, and click the browser's BACK button to return back to the page.

Day 74 - Flour Rockets
Loading up the first rocket with self raising flour.
Neutrino pressurised to 100psi. ~200grams of flour
Flour cloud makes for a healthy breakfast.
Video frame grab of Axion III rocket launching with 400grams of flour.
Reaching for the moon.
Inches from landing
The second flight also produced a nice cloud and "smoke" trail from the rocket.
Going back for more...
Okay John ... one more handful ... but that's it!

Date:  15th March 2009 (7:00am to 8:00am)
Denzil Joyce Oval  
Calm, 18 degrees C, perfect flying conditions
Team Members at Event:
GK, PK, Paul K and John K

At the last NSWRA launch day Craig had asked us if we ever experimented with talcum powder in our rockets instead of water. We hadn't heard of the concept before and so when we got home we tried looking it up in Google, but came up empty handed. We then asked on the Yahoo water rocket forum, and we got a quick response from Dr. Pitan Singhasaneh. They have been using them for their opening ceremony of the space technology camps organized by GISTDA in Thailand. They use flour instead of talcum powder. He provided some great pictures and links to fantastic slow motion videos of flour rockets during their event.

Inspired by his videos and the discussions we had both on the yahoo forum and the Forum for Australian Rocketry, we had to give it a go as well.

We bought both talcum powder and flour as we wanted to test both to see how they behaved. When deciding which kind of flour to use, the answer was obvious .... Self Raising..... of course. Cost of flour was 60c / kilo.

The night before we prepared three small rockets to test on the day. We can't fly larger rockets at the oval due to the limited range clearance.

Flight Day Events

  • We got to the oval just before sunrise on Sunday. We have to come early because people usually start arriving around 8:30am to play sports. We took along only our old launcher because we were warned that it was going to be messy. The grass was a little wet from the rain storm the night before but at least it wasn't muddy.
  • We first filled up our smallest rocket, Neutrino, about 1/3 full of flour. Despite the warnings we didn't realize actually HOW messy it could be. The flour dust just goes everywhere. We improvised a funnel made from paper that helped to get the flour in. Filling takes a little longer because you have to make sure the flour doesn't cake up as you pour it down the funnel. A large hole funnel works best.

    Lesson #1
    - Don't try to fill the rocket over the top of any equipment. After we filled the rocket, I spent 5 minutes cleaning the the tool box that just happen to be under it when we filled the rocket.
  • We pressurised the rocket to 100psi. We really weren't sure what was going to happen as we were using our standard 9mm nozzle and the flour could have caked itself well into the nozzle. But sure enough the rocket launched easily and produced a nice cloud. There were absolutely no problems with getting all the flour out even from a restricted nozzle.
  • Next we loaded up a 3.35L rocket with about 400 grams of flour. This rocket also had a parachute deployment mechanism as we expected it to go higher. We pressurised the rocket to 120psi and let it go. This time the cloud was much more impressive and the rocket flew nice and straight with a good deploy and landing.
  • It was either the surprise of an instant cloud or the fact they hadn't had breakfast yet but the kids sure loved running in and out of it.
  • We loaded up the same rocket again and put about the same amount of flour in it. The second flight was almost identical to the first, and it offered a second breakfast helping for the kids.
  • By then there was a nice patch of white on the grass and other kids started to arrive for their football game. So we packed up and went home. We were off the oval by 8:00am.

Lower quality video is also available on YouTube here.

All in all it was a fun morning, and we recommend it as a fun experiment, but be warned that it is VERY messy, and anything that is not dry will get caked with the flour. Be sure to brush all flour from your equipment, and give it a good wash afterwards to get all residue off. You may also want to take apart your launch mechanism and give it a good cleaning in case some flour got inside. Wash out your rockets as well.

We didn't get a chance to try the talcum powder, but we are also not quite done playing with powders yet. :)

Flight Details

Launch Details
Rocket   Neutrino
Pressure   100 psi
Nozzle    9mm
Water    200 grams Self Raising flour
Flight Computer    N/A
Payload   N/A
Altitude / Time    ? / 6.84 seconds
Notes   Good straight take off with nice cloud at the launch pad. Came down with no damage using ballistic recovery.
Rocket   Axion III
Pressure   120 psi
Nozzle    9 mm
Water    400 grams Self Raising flour
Flight Computer   V1.5 Setting: 4 seconds
Payload   None
Altitude / Time   ? / 25.7 seconds
Notes   Good straight launch that left a very nice cloud trail and plume on the ground. Parachute opened right at apogee and safely landed.
Rocket   Axion III
Pressure   120 psi
Nozzle    9 mm
Water    400 grams Self Raising flour
Flight Computer   V1.5 Setting: 4 seconds
Payload   None
Altitude / Time   ? / 24.8 seconds
Notes   Again a good straight launch that left a very nice cloud trail and plume on the ground. The rocket flew in a more of an arc.  Parachute opened right near apogee and safely landed.


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