Good weather, new motors, and some crappy results:
First came the newly repaired Gauchito on an A10-3T. It flew straight to about 200 feet, ejected the nose cone, and failed to eject the 16" chute I'd stuffed in it (just to try for duration). It came down ballistic but safe a few feet from my dad about 20' from the pad. Score so far: chutes: 0/1
Next came Rama on a C6-3. It chuffed on the pad, fully ignited off the pad and pointed 20° uprange, arced over, and ejected about 1 foot off the ground. Two fins are broken off, but amazingly that tough 3" mailing tube took no damage. It'll fly again, but only once, and on a composite D that'll get it safely OUT of here. Chutes: 0/2
Next was the OV10 on a B6-2. It launched straight and high on a B6-2, ejected around apogee, and came screaming in at about 50 feet per second. The motor tube was bent and the glider in three pieces; I didn't try to repair it, but merely took 2 pieces of the motor tube, the 4 centering rings, the engine hook, the balsa nosecone, and some good bits of balsa and put them in my parts box. RIP. Chutes 0/2; gliders 0/1.
Fourth came the Orbital Transport on a B6-4. It was underpowered and too long a delay; it reached its peak around 250 feet up and ejected about 20 feet off the ground. The glider just made it off the booster and hit undamaged but without a glide; the booster broke off one upper vertical stab and one drooped wingtip; both are now repaired. The motor mount was launched upwards out of the rocket; it landed a few seconds later unharmed. It is reglued with plenty of wood glue. Chutes 0/3; gliders 0/2.
Fifth came the Comanche-3 on a C6-0 / A8-3 combo with the C6 inside a heavy D12 casing in the 24mm stage to make it heavier and keep it on the field. The approximate sequence of events:
The C6 booster ignites and launches it smoothly off the pad. It burns for 1.7 seconds, then stages. The A8-3 ignites and sends the sustainer on its way. The C6 inside the D12-0 is popped out of the booster and falls away, reaching the ground in about 5 seconds. 3.5 seconds after ignition, the A8 ejects right around apogee at between 700 and 1000 feet. It is kicked backwards out of the rocket and falls away, lost to the grass. The nose cone snaps the knot attaches to it and falls away. the streamers fail to come out; without nose cone, motor, or deployed streamers the body is very stable and comes in ballistic. It core sample right around when the nose cone hits; it takes a 1" sample of the soft earth but is totally undamaged. About 5 seconds later, after a good 15-20 seconds, the big, light 24mm booster - sans motor casings, finally touches down. All within 150 feet of the pad. The Comanche-3 is undamaged and will fly again, maybe even on that combo. Chutes 0/3; gliders 0/2; streamers 0/1.
In total, I've flown 91 motors on 78 flights on 38 different rockets (and separate boosters) for a total of 412.42 Ns - a 28.9% I (Over a quarter of the way to a J!), equalling 4.53 per motor (81.3% B) and 5.29 per flight (5.7% C). I also updated my spreadsheet to automatically do those calculations for me.
The SpaceShipOne nose cone is still hanging in the tree, but with the nasty wind tonight maybe it'll snap free.
RIP Chuck Berry
3 days ago