Sunday, February 15, 2009


1) Great progress on the Orbital Transport. I cut the 5 balsa parts for the glider and assembled it. Because my only supply of BT-20 (till my Apogee order gets here) is 5.5" long rather than the 7" of the original, I modified the wings slightly to fit. I used barely any noseweight; a 1.5g slug of metal from my scrap bin and about 1g or clay worked well. I'm glad I made my own balsa tailcone / nozzle assembly rather than the paper of the original. It is far more durable than paper and was easier for me to make, plus the hole in the center allows for me to use a dowel-based booster for glide testing. The glide ratio is about 1.5 feet forward for every foot of glide at around 12 fps.

I also cut the wings of the booster out of 3/32" balsa. So far, I have the main wing sections, strakes, outer-wing flop panels, and canards. I think the Orbital Transport must have been inspired by the XB-70 Valkyrie. The resemblance is striking: long body; small canards, large delta wing, engines in sleek group(s) underneath the wings, and both flop-down wingtips and 2 large vertical stabilizers.

2) Repaired 16" orange parachute. It was burnt a bit on Rama's ill-fated last flight. There are 3 1cm holes from the ejection gasses, which don't really effect its performance. However, the ejection gasses also burnt the shroud lines. When I tested it today, both lines snapped. I replaced them with extra string and all is good.
Since I first posted this:

3) Made a 13mm balsa nose cone for a Mosquito clone. I'll fly it on MMX, and maybe once on a full A on a cloudless, windless day with several spotters, like at CATO.

4) Cut the aft wing section, ventral fins, dorsal fins, and some-little-reinforcement-bit-that-goes-on-top-of-the-wings. Now I've cut all the balsa for it except the ramjet pods.

1 comment:

mandachan said...

2 is obviously not regarding that parachute that's still stuck in that person's yard...
and #5 made me laugh too :)