QANTAS Rocket Print E-mail
Friday, 14 August 2009 10:44
I've been off work for a few days now with a twisted ankle and since I can't do much more than sit on my bum, I got busy finishing my current scratch-build project :) I give you - The QANTAS Rocket!

Qantas Rocket

Qantas Rocket Qantas Rocket Qantas Rocket

Qantas Rocket

Click to embiggen.
One Giant Leap Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:03
40 Years ago on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the face of the Moon.


Being a little less than two years before I was born, I have had to re-live the excitement of the events vicariously through books, movies and the Internet and of course, by building and flying my own rockets.

I may never have the opportunity to walk on the face of another world but that will never stop me dreaming. Well done guys. You really are heroes.
TRAAU July 2009 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 July 2009 03:10
After the June Launch being cancelled due to rain, I decided that I would brave the cold and take the long drive out to Serpentine for the July launch on the weekend. Only got in two flights:

Mini Mean Machine - BP C6 Green Thing - 18mm RMS D13

The first flight of the day was my scratch-built Mini Mean Machine launched on a C6. Nice straight flight and perfect recovery. The second flight was my scratch-build 'Green Thing' with tube fins. I flew this on an Aerotech RMS D13. The eject charge blew so hard that the parachute and nosecone separated from the airframe. The airframe was recovered with minimal damage but the parachute & nosecone was last seen heading for New South Wales.
Rockets In Advertising Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 July 2009 21:20
Holden Australia have just started promoting their new car, the Cruze with the following advertisement:

This seems to be the first time that Amateur rocketry has been used in advertising! Excellent!
A 2nd video after the jump has some behind the scenes footage.
Big Daddy - CATO Print E-mail
Monday, 25 May 2009 09:02
Estes Big Daddy - Aerotech RMS E18 CATO

I took advantage of a fairly still day to launch some rockets this weekend, while most of the flights were uneventful, the Big Daddy decided to put on a show... Loaded up with the same Aerotech E18 motor I flew at the Tripoli launch the weekend before, it decided to CATO just a few feet off the end of the rod.

When the motor blew,the nozzle & propellant (which self-extinguished) were ejected. Everything except the aft closure were recovered.

The image above is three consecutive frames from the video.

I believe the cause of the aft closure failure was due to it not being fully secured in place. The closure was done up tight, however I believe that the liner tube may have been a fraction longer than normal, causing the aft closure to not screw in completely thus only having a small portion of thread engaged. As the motor came up to full-pressure, it simply pushed the ass end out of the motor in a bright flash of light. Impressive flight for all the wrong reasons! Check out the video after the jump.
Tripoli Rocketry Association - Member! Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 May 2009 02:45
It's official. As of May 2009, I am a Tripoli Rocketry Association member :)

Work has begun on my Level 1 certification rocket. When finished, it will be 4" diameter x 6' tall. I will be using a Hypertek hybrid motor for my attempt (due to the current restrictions on solid propellant in Victoria). RockSim seems to think that the rocket will tip over at about 3,000' on the first fire of the grain and at about 4,000' on the second. The 300cc tank is the smallest in the Hypertek range and is the only tank that allows for two flights on the one grain.

I will undertake my certification flight if I have everything ready at the start of June.
As the note included with my membership documentation said "Welcome to High Power!"
Spike - 1st flight (TRAAU 17th May '09) Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 May 2009 09:11
Binder Design - Spike on the pad Binder Design - Spike GONE!!
I put the Binder Design "Spike" through its paces on Sunday at the Tripoli Rocketry Association Australia launch.

Flying on an Aerotech G71R, the boost was very fast (thus resulting in me not getting more than a smoke-trail) and dead-straight with no obvious rotation, the two 18" parachutes popped out right on apogee (10 second delay selected) at about 2200 feet (as estimated using RockSim).

The spike came down without a scratch less than 100m from the launch pad. A perfect flight from what has proven itself to be a fantastic kit. Oh, and this was my first G powered flight!! Amazing stuff :)
Mr Stabby - 1st flight (TRAAU 17th May '09) Print E-mail
Monday, 18 May 2009 22:22
Mr Stabby - RMS E18 Launch Mr Stabby - RMS E18 Launch Mr Stabby - RMS E18 Launch

Mr Stabby - Scratch-built rocket flying on an Aerotech RMS E18 - Perfect boost, dead staight despite the light winds and recovery was right at apogee. It returned to Earth under two 12" parachutes, landing less than 150m away. Launched at Serpentine, Victoria with Tripoli Rocketry Association Australia. RockSim predicted altitude of about 980'. The motor spat when the ejection charge fired but was recovered less than 20m from the launch site. Very happy to have that back! (Click for bigger images)
Big Daddy - 1st flight (TRAAU 17th May '09) Print E-mail
Monday, 18 May 2009 22:15
Estes Big Daddy - RMS E18 Launch Estes Big Daddy - RMS E18 Launch Estes Big Daddy - RMS E18 Launch

Estes Big Daddy kit flying on an Aerotech RMS E18 - Perfect boost and recovery was slightly after apogee. The motor had a 7 second delay and RocSim suggested that a 6 second was more appropriate. Recovery was with the same two 12" parachutes that brought Mr Stabby back down a couple of hours before. Touchdown was less than 100m from launch. RockSim estimated altitude was 1100 feet. Launched at Serpentine, Victoria with Tripoli Rocketry Association Australia. The Big Daddy is a great kit and flew very nicely on top of the reload. After motor burn-out, the rocket continued to coast to apogee, producing an amazing whistling sound! (Click for bigger images)
Mr Stabby - Scratch built rocket. Print E-mail
Friday, 15 May 2009 10:18
Mr StabbyMr StabbyI've been wanting to try a couple of new techniques with my rockets - zipperless design and boat tails. I decided to build Mr Stabby to see how these worked out.

This was a fairly straight-forward build, starting with the design in Rocksim. The boat tail is actually a BT70-BT50 transition that I drilled out the center. Creating a boat tail this way was a suggestion from Bones at Suburban Rocketry, and it worked out perfectly!

The airframe comprises of 2 lengths of BT70 tube (18" long), a BT70 nosecone (10.5") and the boat tail. The fins are made from 3mm plywood for durability and the zipperless coupler in the middle doubles as an ejection baffle. Mr Stabby stands 48" (123cm) tall.

The nosecone is expoied into the top section of body tube, with a length of Kevlar thread attached.

The 'blood' dripping off the top of the rocket was created with a hand-cut stencil and painted Rustolium Cardinal Red. The rest of the airframe is Rustolium Titanium Silver - I am very happy with the colours as well as the quality of the Rustolium paint :) Two coats of clear were applied to help protect the paintwork and to seal down the decal.
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