I recently had a successful test flight of my newest and most
sophisticated rocket to date. This is a 2.6" rocket with a 54mm motor
mount, designed for two-stage flights. Its fins are made from 1/8"
honeycomb composite from Giant Leap.
The interstage coupler has thin carbon fiber rods that slide into
channels between the second stage's motor mount tube and airframe. A
PerfectFlite mini-timer is built into the coupler, along with a locator
siren to assist in recovery of the booster.
The second stage uses a PerfectFlite altimeter for deployment, in a
unique ducted electronics bay which permits use of motor ejection as a
backup. The power switch and ejection charge connections are on the
outside the bay's access panel. A separate, smaller panel provides
access for install the ejection charges. The whole setup is intended to
make prep fast and easy.
The 35mm camera payload is controlled by a custom electronic timer and
contains a locator siren.
A smaller rocket was launched alongside the large rocket in hopes of
getting pics of it in flight.
The flight of the two-stager went very well, with only two small
problems. First, the interstage coupler drag-separated where it joins
the booster. Ignition of the second stage motor occurred at about the
same time, before the igniter could be pulled out of the motor.
However, the drag-separation did cause the second stage to angle over a
bit. On the plus side, the second stage was rock-steady, with no spin
The second problem occurred at ejection when the motor retention
resulting in the loss of a brand new casing.
Altitude was 5602 feet. All components except for the lost motor were
and safely recovered. I then spent the next several hours searching
fruitlessly for the motor, in temps that reached 115 degrees, before
calling it a day. The photos from both flights turned out great, and
can be seen here:
16 years ago