We still haven't launched the booster rocket because we have been busy over the past few weeks.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
We have started to make an FTC (fluorescent tube cover) rocket and we have already made the pressure chamber. We need to test it for leaks, if it leaks then we will probably scrap that idea. The rocket won't have a parachute so it will be extra light, but it does have another type of recovery system, it will be designed as a sideglider/sideslider. A sideglider/sideslider is a rocket that has its CoG (Centre of Gravity) and CoP (Centre of Pressure) very near to the centre of the rocket so when it is descending it descends on its side, which increases drag to slow the rocket's descent. The rocket is still a prototype and may take a while to make.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
The new fins and booster pins should work a lot better because we have made the main rocket less tail heavy (more stability). The new fins are straighter so the rocket won't twist, so the onboard camera footage will be clearer because we are going to mount the camera horizontal to reduce drag.
We have attached the fins onto a removable sleeve with some copper plate that's been bent into an "L" shape. The tubes for the boosters are stuck onto the sleeve with some gaffer tape (Duck Tape) that is rapped round the tubes tightly for extra strength. The sleeve slides on and off of the rocket so we can replace the rocket without having to make some new fins. The rocket is fully finished and all we need to do now is wait for a non windy day.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
We have tried to fix the old problem with the boosters by remaking all the booster pins again and we have also rebuilt the whole fin unit (booster tubes). The fins are a lot lighter so the rocket isn't as tail heavy as before so the stability should be a lot better. The rocket is pretty much being rebuilt completely from scratch because we are just finishing of the new parachute deployment system, which is designed to be easier to replace if we have a crash. We haven't been able to launch the rocket for a wile now because it has been terrible weather, the weather forecast for the next few day is just lots of rain and lots of wind (not good rocket weather).
Otherwise the launcher is working perfectly, its just the fine tuning that we need to sort out e.g. the boosters and recovery system.
Sunday, 2 November 2008
We have found out what was going wrong with our booster rocket. When the boosters separate from the main stage they don't all separate at the same time because of friction. All the booster fall off in less than half a second but that is enough to through the rocket off balance and flip. So to stop this happening we are going to tie all the boosters together with a piece of string so if one falls of then it will pull the others off with it.
have a look at this video:
If this video doesn't work click here