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Model Rocketry

16 August 2014 (SpaceX Falcon 9 model rocket design in OpenRocket)

Since my goal is to put extra stuff in the rocket, it's a good idea to find out how it might fly before I try to launch it.  Some friends told me about OpenRocket design and simulation software and that it happens to be free to download!  :-)  I got a hold of a scale and calipers to weigh and measure all the parts to make the design and simulation as accurate as possible.  In some cases, the software wouldn't allow me to duplicate the design exactly.  In those cases, I made sure to at least get the weight right.  Below is a view of the design along with mass components in the nose representing the altimeter and two cameras.  Double-click on the picture to see a larger view.

13 July 2014 (SpaceX Falcon 9 model rocket kit)

My Falcon 9 arrived last Wednesday!  I'm going to install a payload on this one.  At least one camera and a Jolly Logic altimeter.

28 June 2014

One of the first model rockets I've experimented with recently is the Estes "Hi-Flier".  It is supposed to go around 1500 ft high.  Mine never went that high and that's good because it was often hard to find being so small.  I launched this thing probably more than a dozen times before I retired it.  This is some of the flight data that I recorded using a Jolly Logic AltimeterTwo (pre-2014 version).  24 May 2014 was the last day I flew it.  It was getting really beat up by that point.

Date Temp (F) Wind Rocket Model Engine Predicted Thrust Duration (sec) Predicted Altitude (feet) Preditcted Max Velocity (mph) Max Altitude Max Velocity Burn time (sec) Peak Acceleration (g's) Average Acceleration (g's) Coast to Apogee (sec) Ejection Altitude (feet) Descent Rate (mph) Flight Duration (sec)
9-Feb-2014 Low 60's Light SSW Estes - Hi-Flier Estes B6-4 0.8 720 181 636 146 0.9 21.9 7.7 3.6 564 17 26.1
12-Feb-2014 71 calm Estes - Hi-Flier Estes B6-4 0.8 720 181 648 151 0.9 21.5 7.9 3.5 585 18 25.8
24-May-2014 75 Light SSW Estes - Hi-Flier Estes B6-4 0.8 720 181 603 141 0.9 19 7.4 5.5 547 15 28
24-May-2014 75 Light SSW Estes - Hi-Flier Estes B6-4 0.8 720 181 587 147 0.9 19.5 7.7 3.3 541 19 23
24-May-2014 80 Light SSW Estes - Hi-Flier Estes C6-5 1.6 1422 299 1155 267 2 16.8 6.2 3.8 1069 21 39.6

A video of some of the launches.

Hi-Flier after a dozen or so flights.  You can see where the engine retainer clip is tearing a hole in the rocket tube from all the ejection charges going off.  There is also damage to the fins and elsewhere.