Frankenstager Found

The weekend after the launch I was able to head back and search for both the booster and sustainer. Prior to searching I spent quite a bit of time running simulations and scouring google earth to figure out where the best search areas would be. For both sections I had best guess locations based on heading, expected altitude and wind speed. I left LA real early and made it to the FAR property by 8am, and by 9:30am I had found the sustainer over 5 miles from the launch pad. Then 40 minutes later after approaching my first best guess location for the booster I found it in good condition minus a broken tube coupler. I hope to have a video soon.



Flight of Frankenstager

This past weekend I flew my two-stage rocket Frankenstager to roughly 27,000′. Unfortunately I have yet to recover the rocket which is still waiting for me out in the Mojave desert. Full report and more pictures go here.

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I decided against flying my two-stage rocket this past weekend due to the strong winds in Mojave. I really did not want the stack to weathercock then stage into the wind at a high AOA. I had a 6000N-s load ready for the booster and a 3600N-s load for the sustainer, however, both had the cores opened way up to reduce the total altitude and stay under the wavier. Instead I flew my KestreL on a small 1050N-s load to 5300′ and provided some small support to the USC RPL with my Yagi antenna and some Mg/teflon for motor ignition. Here’s a few pictures from the event:

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In the past couple weeks I was able to find some spare parts in my garage to build an interstage coupler for a two-stage build. I was originally planning on building a P to N motor two-stage but figured I should probably slow down and take smaller steps. The first build will primarily be to become familiar with my design and equipment as well as using head end ignition. I’ll have more later but for now here’s the booster section from “Unoriginal” and the fincan from “Shovel Ready”. I’m actually trying to keep this flight fairly low in altitude as it’s more of a test build than an altitude attempt.


More Pictures from Balls 21

Here are some more pictures of Incredulous flying at Balls to 52,927′.

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52,927′ at Balls 21

Had a great time at Balls, nearly reached 53,000′ with Incredulous. See additional pictures and report here.

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More Construction

Been working more on the 3″ build, here’s some pictures.

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Far Launch Report

Yesterday I went out to the desert, here’s some pictures below. For the full report click here.

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Carbon Fiber Fins

I wanted to take a stab at making some carbon fiber fins from scratch, and here are the initial results. I used 10 layers of  5.9oz  plain weave carbon fiber with Cotronics 4461, which is supposedly stable up to 500 degrees after a post cure for 4 hours at 250 degrees F. The laminate was sandwiched between two granite slabs first covered with mylar, then vacuumed bagged and cured in the oven. That stack came out to 90 mils with a tolerance of roughly +-10.

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Launch Blown Out

So the last launch attempt never materialized. We woke up early and the surface winds were a pretty solid 20mph, not ideal for an attempt to 46,000′. We packed up and started to head out when my fuel pump died a mile down the (dirt) road. We had to get towed back to Mojave, total bummer. At this point I may wait to launch at Balls in September, however it’s possible next month I’ll try again depending on work and life.