.... still no rocket. But I had a nice walk. The field is
very pretty. And I was the star of the cow show. They must
get bored staring at the same grass all day, so a rocket idiot
stumbling around the pasture is good entertainment. I covered the
open areas pretty well so I think it is in the woods, which I did
not have time to search before dark.
Perhaps greater than the loss of the rocket is the loss of the data.
I would like to know what went wrong, and without the rocket, I
can only guess. If the main deployed, as happened on the first
flight with the ARTS altimeter, the rocket could be caught in a tree.
If the main did not deploy, it is likely to be a finned post-hole
with pink flecks here and there.
Maybe I'll look again after the next launch.
In the meantime, I'll order some parts and start building another one.
It will have TWO altimeters, and maybe a camera bay!
Flash Forward... Sugar Rush recovered! Or part of it.
launch, 9-9-06. Sam Haynes' son found it while looking for
another lost rocket. It was in the cow pasture, as expected.
and fins are intact, but rearranged a bit. Motor retainer
made a clean break from body tube. It was the motor mount tube
that broke, so now I know the weak point in this system.
Apparently, it hit at high velocity. Not only has the fin
section moved forward in relation to the motor, but the nozzle is now
about halfway down in the motor. It could have only gotten there
by crumpling the phenolic-paper case liner ahead of it, which
would have required considerable force.
end of the motor casing was filled with tight-packed wood chips.
I looked at these for the longest time trying to figure out where
they came from. There were plywood bulkheads ahead of it in
the rocket, but this is not plywood. The altimeter mount was made
of maple, but this is not maple. So I am guessing it hit a stump
in its final milliseconds and took some chips off the old block.
plug is frozen tight. I suspect it is "glued" in place by
propellant residue interacting with aluminum and moisture. I've
had plugs freeze from just an hour or two, and so like to disassemble
the casing as soon as possible after a flight. This one has been
out in the Florida summer for a month. I believe the motor casing
can be salvaged by trimming it back and cutting another snap ring
groove, assuming the head plug and nozzle can be removed.
The forward section was not found. I did not visit the recovery site, but may try to find it at next launch.
G10 fins seem unfazed by this trauma, and the motor retainer is intact.
So I may be compelled to rebuild the Sugar Rush starting with
these parts. It is a good test-bed for 54mm motors - and I could
use one of those!