Not quite dead yet
Posted by aogSaturday, 10 November 2007 at 18:59 TrackBack Ping URL

A Public Missiles X-Calibur on an H128-M.
Predicted altitude: 556 meters.
Lesson learned: Do not paint your rockets white!

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cjm Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 09:32

i am surprised that baby doesn’t go higher…are their laws restricting hobbyists ?

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 10:46

Sort of. We have to reserve airspace for the launch but the height of that reservation is negotiable, although the higher the ceiling the harder the reservation is to get. We had a 10K feet / 3km ceiling for this launch.

In practice, the real limit is recovery. This one, because it’s white, disappeared in to the sky, although we could hear the parachute deploy. Eventually we spotted the parachute so I could find it after it landed 300m or so out. I had another launch (no picture, unfortunately) that went to 850m and it landed over 1km away. Other people in the club have had rockets land over 4km away. The possiblity of having your rocket land in some unknown location a klick or two away in an unknown direction, plus that even if you know where it landed, you still have to walk over to pick it up, puts a damper on the enthusiasm for maximal altitude.

This is a heavy rocket, and an H128 is just barely an H. Still, it boosted out of sight, which seems high enough to me.

cjm Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 00:39

just leave the chutes off, then you won’t have to chase them :P i am more of a horizontal oriented person, and would want to hit things with the rockets. do you have any active control surfaces ? could you put together an interceptor that would close on and try to collide with a target rocket ?

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 06:47

The more advanced guys use electronics to avoid parachutes until the very end of the descent, but I haven’t had the time to do master that and build it in to my rockets. On the other hand, the guy who did that at this launch spent basically the entire launch just preparing his rocket and only had one launch, right at the end.

None of these rockets have active control surfaces. The expense in time and money would be enormous to do that, which is main reason it’s not done. Plus we already have enough trouble with stupid regulations and their enforcers.

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