Last update, November 18, 2007
Mark-IIId Flight Test 1, November 10, 2007
This is the short version of the launch report. I may write up more details later.
After several delays we launched at 2:00 PM Saturday. The rocket flew to about 1700' on our Mark-IIId hybrid motor. Unfortunately only one parachute deployed. The other tangled in the rigging. The resulting landing was hard enough to cause extensive damage. The motor, aft two sections of air-frame, and the Walston transmitter were all damaged or destroyed by the landing.
Things that worked well:
The motor worked perfectly, except that it underperformed substantially. There were no leaks, the PVC chamber and nozzle survived the 3.5 second burn intact. However achieving an altitude of 1700 feet rather than the simulated 4000 feet suggests the we got at most 60% of the expected thrust from the rocket.
Things that did not work:
We need to understand why the motor underperformed so badly. We hope to redesign the injector, rebuild the motor and the aft sections of airframe and try again a at the late February launch in Bayboro, NC.
I've produced two copies of the launch video. The small one is much smaller, but the compression is pretty noisy.