NEFAR Launch
August 12, 2006

Rick and Steve's Camroc
Last Flight of the Sugar Rush


Camera Rocket built by Steve Ghioto and Richard Creamer.  It uses a CVS "one-use" digital camcorder to record the flight from within the rocket.  
Rick has modified the camera for multiple uses.  


Launch Video (from ground camera)
7 meg .wmv file, 36 seconds of video

Launch Video 1 (from onboard camera)
4 meg .wmv file,  66  seconds of video

Launch Video 2 (from onboard camera)
5 meg .wmv file,  76 seconds of video

Sugar Rush Flight

Propellant made by engineering students at UCF, members of the local chapter of Students for Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS)


Launch Video
9 meg .wmv file, 47 seconds of video

Second video from digital still camera
(5 meg .mpg file, 15 seconds of video)

Motor worked very nicely!  Altimeter... well, something went wrong.  Drogue did not deploy.  Main may or may not have deployed.  We searched for a couple of hours that day.  


Hal found an old weatherbeaten rocket, but not mine.  

I returned on Wednesday to look some more...

(Can you name this plant?  Click Here for clues!)

.... 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.

NEFAR launch, 9-9-06.  Sam Haynes' son found it while looking for another lost rocket.  It was in the cow pasture, as expected.  


Motor 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.  


Forward 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.  

Head-end 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.

Well.  The 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!

Jimmy Yawn
Recrystallized Rocketry
rev. 9/12/06