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AETHER MkIII

AETHER MkIII is a further development of the MkII concept. MkIII is to become the first flyable rocket of the AETHER family. 

Pressure Vessel Design

The PV design is very similar to MkII. The only improvement introduced in MkIII is a thin membrane covering the internal surface of the top stopper. The membrane is made of aluminium foil and its purpose is to stop air leakage due to porosity of wood. The pressure tests confirm that the membrane is a very effective solution to the problem experienced in MkI and MkII.

Fins

MkIII features three aerodynamic surfaces (fins). 


They are cut from 3mm general purpose plywood and have the classical low- drag clipped delta shape. Dimensions are based on the diameter of the PV a a point of departure:

  • Root = 2D = 80mm
  • Tip=D=40mm
  • Span=2D=80mm

The fins' airfoil is a simple double-wedge shape where the trailing and leading edges are shaped as a sharp V.

The surfaces are hot-glued to the PV and then protected by several layers of spray-can automotive primer, orange paint and  clear lacquer. Note that hot-glueing should be performed before applying the paint to improve adhesiveness of the bond and avoid damaging the paint by the hot air.  

The mass of each fin is 8 grams.

Nose Cone

MkIII nose cone has a simple cone shape. It is made of 220 gsm drawing paper using a technique very similar to the one described in details on the Recrystallized Rocketry web page. PVA glue is used to bond layers of paper together. 

A piece of PP pipe (white cylinder on the above picture) is hot-glued inside the nose cone. The surface is sanded down and protected by several layers of a primer, paint and lacquer.

The cone is hollow inside. In future this space can be used for housing a small payload.

The mass of the cone is 26 grams.

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