07-23-2012 10:16 AM - edited 07-23-2012 10:20 AM
I was out in my back yard and heard what sounded like a firework. I was thinking someone had some leftovers from the 4th. I quickly looked over and saw a rocket and kept waiting for it to explode but it kept going. Then the parachute deployed and it came down in a big soccer field across the street. I went over and there was a couple with their kids launching Estes rockets with C engines. That really brought back some memories.
I wanted to do some research on the biggest amateur rocket. After a certain weight of the propellant, type of construction and other factors, they are classified as high power rockets. As you may know each letter doubles the power of the rocket. The little C motor rocket by my house went up about 800 to 1,000 feet and was quite impressive. You can get D, E, F and G before you enter the realm of high power rocketry.
I did some looking around on youtube and found this amazing video.
Check out the model Saturn V that weighs 1,600 pounds!
This next one... It just kept going and going until you could see the curvature of the Earth. There are several shots. Keep watching for the ones with the onboard cameras. There were several mounted to the rocket.
07-23-2012 10:33 AM
My favourite was the "ambitious, but rubbish" Reliant Robin Rocket from Top Gear!
07-23-2012 02:44 PM - edited 07-23-2012 02:44 PM
I used to work with a guy that made "K" engines in his garage. Crazy stuff.
Sounds like the equivalent of a meth lab for engineers. Probably explodes similarly if something goes wrong!
07-23-2012 04:20 PM
Robert Cole wrote:
I know that type of launching.
BTW - that's my voice as LCO (Launch Control Officer) doing the countdown.
Absolutely breath taking engine roar. I imagine that youtube doesn't really do it justice.
07-23-2012 07:48 PM
No, there is nothing like being there in person. Canadian law has the crowd at least 1km away from a launch of that power. Distances are determined by taking the power of the motor, figuring the same power in military explosive's "safe" distance and doubling it.
But then, if the rocket fell over and flew straight towards the crowd, there wouldn't be time to duck anyway. Injuries and damage are rare occurences and can usually be attributed to stupidity.
It's fun (and expensive for the rocketeers). Get out and see an HPR launch some time.
And then there's these guys. One of them was the founder of Xircom and sold out just before the tech crash - nothing like being wealthy in a hobby like this. Watch some of their launches.