December high-power launch status (revisited)

December 18, 2014 in Mail_All_Users

As expected, Elsberry got additional rain (and possibly a little snow) and we are still unable to use the launch field. There will be no launch this weekend.

Therefore, at this point, there are no further launches scheduled for 2014. Please continue to check this site for current information about our launch activities in 2015 – and either register here, so you get direct emails with announcements, or follow our Facebook page – or both!

Unless we get both unseasonably warm and dry weather this winter and significant desire from flyers for a winter launch, the earliest we will probably start planning for a spring launch will be late February.

So stay tuned! Let us know what you’re building and what you want to fly with us (again, please post to our Facebook page). Happy holidays, and we’ll see you next year.

Belleville West High School TARC team

December 17, 2014 in Mail_All_Users

SLRA member Mike Fischer is mentoring the TARC (Team America Rocket Challenge) team at Belleville West High School. At our December meeting, Mike told us about the team’s work and the club members present voted to donate $100 to the Belleville West team to help with building materials and motors. Since the meeting, Mike has passed along these words of thanks and a wish list. If any club members have any spare materials or motors applicable to the project and would like to help the team out by donating them, please bring them to the January meeting.

Merry Christmas! Many thanks to all who offered to help my TARC team. Other donations, (parts, motors, etc.), I will pick up at the next meeting.

The first prototype is all Apogee components. Payload bay 66mm (BT80), booster 41mm (BT60) with a 29mm MMT. Hard, heavy (PVC?) transition, foam egg protector and NC, 1/16 balsa fins.
One flight so far on an Econoline F. Two fins broke on the way up. Too thin, too large and grain direction incorrect. Estimated altitude too low.
They will need more motors. I have an Aerotech 29/40-120 and a Cessaroni three grain case they can use. E or F impulse.
They would do better with a 56mm (BT70) payload bay and a 24mm (BT50) booster. It I can convince them of that they will need everything. Tubes, transitions, nose cones, motors.
Not very specific, but we still don’t know what motors will be used. They are simulating everything in RockSim but still need actual test flights. And the design is not finalized.
They need to make most of the decisions themselves. I answer questions and advise. Like fin grain direction and weigh each component. They were ~300gm over RockSim’s estimates.
Any scrap pieces you have laying around, if not in the final rocket, will be used to hone building skills or teach. (“Here’s a box of junk. Build a rocket.”)

Thanks for your help.

May you all have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, (and no rain for a while) Mike Fischer

December high-power launch status

December 11, 2014 in Mail_All_Users

Following Tuesday’s meeting and contact with the Ellsberry landowner, we have the following launch status to pass along:

  • Despite the promising weather forecast for this weekend, we will NOT have a launch this weekend (December 13/14). The field and dirt roads are still too muddy from previous rain for us to bring vehicles in without damaging the roads.
  • There is a small chance we could put a launch together for the following weekend (December 20/21), but only if there is no additional rain. Since the current weather forecast predicts rain on Monday, we expect that the field will continue to be inaccessible. We will check again with the landowner next week.
  • Beyond that, we are on a wait-and-see basis. It is fairly likely at this point that our next launch opportunity will not be until spring.

We apologize for the poor communication surrounding the December 6th date. We discussed this problem at length at the club meeting this week and are taking steps to improve communication both among the launch planners and with the club members. As Heino mentioned in his previous post, the forums have been removed from the stlouisrocketry.com website as they were counterproductive (in short, people were asking questions on the forums, but the people who could answer those questions were not notified that the questions were there). Going forward, our primary means of receiving questions and feedback from members will be through our Facebook page. If you need a more immediate answer (for instance, information about an upcoming launch), please email me directly at danno@danno.org.

Tuesday December 9, 2014 General Membership Meeting Announcement

December 8, 2014 in Mail_All_Users

SLRA is having our regular monthly meeting on Tuesday
evening, December 9th, at our  meeting location: Google Map Link

Bandana’s Bbq Sunset Hills
11750 Gravois Road
Sunset Hills, Missouri, 63127

We are continuing to meet at  Bandana’s BBQ Sunset Hills. Even though Bandana’s Sunset Hills doesn’t have a minimum food purchase, we are encouraging members to purchase something to support the use of the room. We have the room from 6:30 to 9:00 and we’ll need to leave promptly since 9 pm is the closing time.

The room will be available at 6:30 PM and  the business meeting will start at about 7:00PM. We’ll need to be out of the room by 9:00 PM (closing).

If you’re a member of SLRA, the meeting minutes from the June meeting will be available here: Meeting Minutes Page, The meeting minutes will be the basis of our “old business” discussion.

We’ll be discussing the SLRA launch schedule for December, status of future high power launches and the club direction for 2015.

 

The standard agenda for all meetings is as follows:

1. Treasury Status.

2. Recognition of Achievements

3. Recognition of Contributions

4. Members expenses.

5. Old Business – please review minutes for last month’s meeting for topics

6. New Business

On line and paper membership forms with payments received by mail  to be processed by treasurer and president.

Please comment on this post or email me at heyno@heino.com if you have new business for the meeting.

Heino Pull
SLRA Secretary

Web Site Changes

December 8, 2014 in Mail_All_Users

To simplify the use of the web site, the forums have been removed. They were not used by current members on an active basis and it confused new individuals to the club since many posts went unanswered.

In the process of doing this change, the WordPress configuration crashed and couldn’t be restored to an operational state. On Saturday, I restored the website to an earlier September state, so several posts have been lost from September to December. All other functionality is currently working. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Heino

 

There is no launch today! Saturday 12/6/2014

December 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have to apologize to the group, but one member did wind up going to Elsberry today.  I’ve been extremely busy at work and failed to put a definitive launch cancellation on the site.

This points to a serious problem in the club – there are a few members who are anxious to fly at Elsberry, and only a few members actively planning and discussing upcoming launches. I plan to raise this issue at our December meeting and we need to assess the future of the club for 2015 before we accept any more memberships or have elections.

I’m truly sorry for anyone who may have inadvertently went to Elsberry and I will have some announcements on my personal status in the club at the meeting.

October Fly Oct 11-12 possible events

August 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

C ela altimeter

b or c rg

1/2 a bg

b or c hd

perdicted duration?

 

Tuesday August 12, 2014 General Membership Meeting Announcement

August 11, 2014 in Mail_All_Users

Next Meeting: SLRA is having our regular monthly meeting on Tuesday
evening, August 12th, at our  meeting location: Google Map Link

Bandana’s Bbq Sunset Hills
11750 Gravois Road
Sunset Hills, Missouri, 63127

We are continuing to meet at  Bandana’s BBQ Sunset Hills. Even though Bandana’s Sunset Hills doesn’t have a minimum food purchase, we are encouraging members to purchase something to support the use of the room. We have the room from 6:30 to 9:00 and we’ll need to leave promptly since 9 pm is the closing time.

The room will be available at 6:30 PM and  the business meeting will start at about 7:00PM. We’ll need to be out of the room by 9:00 PM (closing).

If you’re a member of SLRA, the meeting minutes from the June meeting will be available here: Meeting Minutes Page, The meeting minutes will be the basis of our “old business” discussion.

We’ll be discussing the possible August park launch, upcoming Argonia launch, and the status of our corporation and checking account.

 

The standard agenda for all meetings is as follows:

1. Treasury Status.

2. Recognition of Achievements

3. Recognition of Contributions

4. Members expenses.

5. Old Business – please review minutes for last month’s meeting for topics

6. New Business

On line and paper membership forms with payments received by mail  to be processed by treasurer and president.

Please comment on this post or email me at heyno@heino.com if you have new business for the meeting.

Heino Pull
SLRA Secretary

Moonlight Ramble Anyone

August 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Anyone interested in having an SLRA contingent at the Moonlight Ramble this weekend.  Online late registration is this Thursday.  Let me know if you are interested.  This ride is lots of fun.  We can either do a 10 or 18 mile length and then go our for an early morning breakfast at Uncle Bills on Kingshighway..  For information on the event, ;click on the following link:  http://www.moonlightramble.com/register.html

Happy Biking

Dave

LDRS 33 Launch Report

July 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

I attended LDRS 33, one of the annual Tripoli Rocketry Association launches, hosted by Tripoli Wisconsin and Quad Cities Rocketry Society at the Bong State Recreation Area near Kenosha, Wisconsin. I had two main goals for this launch. The first was to complete my level 2 certification with a flight of my new rocket “Home Alone” on a J motor, and the second was to make my first flight of more than a mile in altitude. Everything went very smoothly for me and I achieved both of these goals.

Day 1 – Friday, July 18
The event began on Thursday, but to save a vacation day and a hotel night, I drove up to Kenosha on Thursday afternoon and didn’t go to the range until Friday. The predicted weather was very similar throughout the event: mid- to upper 70s, clear and calm. A breeze might have made it a little more comfortable, but all things considered, we couldn’t have asked for better conditions to fly rockets.

I prepped Home Alone according the detailed checklist I had been obsessing over for the past several weeks and loaded up my certification motor, a Cesaroni J430. This was the smallest motor I was comfortable flying; being a fast-burning 2-grain motor, it would only lift the 9-pound rocket to around 3000 feet. At that altitude I expected that my certification observer and I would both be able to see the rocket’s entire trajectory and make sure everything worked properly.

I admit my hands were shaking as I hooked the rocket up on the launch pad. My jitters soon subsided, though, as the fast-moving launch crew started my countdown almost before I could get back to the spectator area and start my camera. Home Alone flew perfectly straight up to its predicted altitude of 3000 feet, remaining just under the scattered clouds, and arced over towards the spectator area as its apogee event fired and it deployed its streamer. Descending under streamer, the rocket continued to drift over the spectators and towards the parking area, causing the LCO (launch control officer) to call for a “heads up.” When I could no longer see the rocket, I packed up my camera and radio tracker and headed back towards the parking area as the LCO (also my certification observer) congratulated me on a successful certification flight.

I went back to my car and dropped off my camera and tripod, and debated whether I should take the tracker with me. I had just decided that I probably wouldn’t need it, and stowed it in the back of my car, when I turned around and saw my rocket lying on the ground next to another rocketeer’s EZ-up tent across the aisle. My first thought was that he must have found my rocket and brought it back to his tent already, but when I approached it became apparent that it had landed right where it was, with the shock cords and parachute strewn around three sides of the tent. My neighbor didn’t seem to be too put out by the near miss, and I had a very short walk back to my car.

Flight #1 launchFlight #1 apogeeFlight #1 landing

Weather conditions: Scattered clouds around 3000 ft, winds calm, 73 F, 59% RH

Wildman Dual Deploy “Home Alone” flight #1:
Motor: Cesaroni Pro54 821J430-18A White Thunder
Altitude: 3034 feet AGL
Max velocity: 318 MPH (Mach 0.42)
Motor burn time: 1.84 sec
Peak acceleration: 10.3 G
Descent rate: 59.47 ft/s (40 mph) under drogue streamer, 18.39 ft/s (13 mph) under main chute
Flight duration: 91.5 sec
Result: Landed in parking area; apogee and main recovery deployment nominal; successful recovery, no damage; certification attempt successful

Flight data file (viewable with the Featherweight Interface Program)

Day 2 – Saturday, July 19
My goal for my second flight was to exceed a mile in altitude. From my first flight I found that my actual altitude differed from my simulation by about 5%, which was about what I expected due to the extra drag of the camera shroud (which my simulator can’t simulate easily). I had originally planned to fly either a 4 grain sparky or a 4 grain smoky motor, either of which should have put me at around 6000 feet and met my goal with a little bit of a cushion. However, since the first flight had gone so well, I decided to push my luck a little more and reach for another (completely arbitrary) milestone – exceeding 500 mph. This would require a slightly higher-impulse motor, and after running some more simulations I settled on a 4 grain motor with Cesaroni’s red propellant, “Red Lightning.”

I purchased the motor at the Wildman Rocketry trailer and returned to my workspace to get things ready to go. While I was working, another SLRA member, Craig, stopped by. He and his wife had decided to come up for the weekend to spectate and take photos, and he helped me get the rocket hooked up at the pad.

Again, I barely had time to get back and start my camera before the LCO called for my countdown. Home Alone shot off the pad on the red motor and quickly disappeared from view completely. I was starting to worry about finding it, and was still scanning the sky overhead, when people to my left started shouting for a heads-up and I saw my rocket drifting down under parachute only about 150 feet up. It came down in the grass just across the road from the spectator area, about fifty feet from where I was standing with my camera and tripod. I wish I had caught sight of it earlier and been able to watch the deployment, because from the altimeter data and the on-board video, it appeared that the main parachute didn’t fully inflate until the rocket was at around 300 feet altitude (after the ejection which should have occurred at 800 feet), which meant it must have come out somewhat tangled.

Without actually seeing it, I think the way in which I folded the main chute may have led to the tangling. For future reference, I’ll note here that it was folded according to the Top Flight instructions (in half to form an L, then in half again to form a long rectangle with a point at the end, then in half lengthwise, then the point folded inwards, then rolled). The gores were then wound around the bundle per the instructions, but then, to make a more compact bundle, I folded the roll in half again before packing it in the tube. I think that folding it again after the gores were already rolled on the outside was a Bad Idea and caused the two halves to get tangled with each other. The next time I pack, I should try either folding the bundle in half before winding the gores around it (so they’re only going one direction) or coming up with another way to fold it so the gores are on the inside.

At any rate, it was a beautiful second flight and another very short recovery walk. Once I downloaded my altimeter data, I found that my altitude and speed had both exceeded my simulations, even without taking into account the 5% I expected to lose due to the camera. I have to assume that there is just that much variation in impulse between one motor and the next, and I happened to end up with an “overachiever.”

Flight #2 launchFlight #2 apogeeFlight #2 apogeeFlight #2 landing


Weather conditions: Scattered clouds around 5000 ft, winds calm, 73 F, 55% RH

Wildman Dual Deploy “Home Alone” flight #2:
Motor: Cesaroni Pro54 1596K500-18A Red Lightning
Altitude: 7394 feet AGL
Max velocity: 573 MPH (Mach 0.76)
Motor burn time: 2.44 sec
Peak acceleration: 13.8 G
Descent rate: 74.90 ft/s (51 mph) under drogue streamer, 21.81 ft/s (15 mph) under main chute
Flight duration: 133 sec
Result: Landed in field very close to spectator area; apogee and main recovery deployment nominal except main seemed to be tangled until ~300 feet AGL; successful recovery, no damage

Flight data file (viewable with the Featherweight Interface Program)