XR-10 Boilerplate version gets its coat of primer.
Tomorrow evening, it gets its color.
(Middlefield, OH – March 22, 2014)
On March 22, Comanche was set to take to the sky for a second time on Mission CLS-002. At ignition, all things looked good, but in a fraction of a second…not so good.
In less than 1 second, Comanche whipped around the air at maybe 50 feet….then the field was quiet.
After recovering Comanche & inspecting, it became apparent there was a motor failure. The failure is what high power rocket folks call “blow by”, where the exhaust from the burning propellant “blows by” the delay grain pellet, and ignites the black powder recovery charge.
This caused the deployment of the drogue parachute & apogee separation event right at the launch pad.
The top half of Comanche shot upward, then the booster started to raise into the air as the motor came up to pressure. This caused the booster section to “ram into” the upper section, and from there the unstable rocket whipped around for a bit until the propellant burned out.
Normally a rocket would be totally (if not nearly) destroyed by such an event. Comanche only suffered damage to the section of the booster that made contact with the upper section. That and a LOT of soot inside the booster were the only results of this episode. Whew!
Cleanup & repair took about 3 days to complete, and Comanche is ready to go again, with mission CLS-003 set for April 25, 2014.
Here are the rest of the photos to view..
(March 30, 2014 – Cuyahoga Falls)
Since I last posted to my blog, Nesaru has flown two missions… PLS-5007 (formerly NLS-007), and PLS-5008. Both were to test the RF telemetry link. Here is a quick recap:
PLS-5007 : (3/8/2014) The first test of the telemetry link. Test proves the concept indeed works. Need improvements on antenna link. PLS_5008 set to test antenna polarity alignment during flight phase.
During PLS-5007, we were able to receive data until about 450 feet, when the rocket was outside the antenna aperture. Data was re-acquired when the rocket was on parachute downrange of the launch site. This proves the concept works.
PLS_5008: ( 3/22/2014) The flight itself was successful, but back at the ground station, we had a bad cable. So, as a result, no telemetry data was acquired. Test is being reset for mission PLS-5009.
Also, during mission PLS-5008, Nesaru was carying a second video camera on-board to catch the launch & recovery phases from a different perspective. The results were fun to watch.
Video link is posted below…
If you don’t see the video right away, give it a few minutes….
The aerodynamics test version of the XR-10 (XR-10/t) is taking shape, almost ready for a few test flights to verify the stability of this new design…
With exception to the red fin can section (which will be used as the project moves forward), all other items of the test article are either scrap parts. The silver nose section is my “night flight” setup — which is being used for this test as it has the correct dry weight for the purposes of this series of tests…
Sunday, Feb 15, 2014 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH
The repairs to Comanche XR9C have been coming along at a steady pace, and have been completed. Comanche is now awaiting a “paint job” for its new sections.
A few days ago, Comanche’s new sections were bolted together for the first time, and all looked good! The new fin can section fit together beautifully. I made some subtle but important design changes to the fin can to make it more durable in the event of a similar mishap in the future.
The parachute bay has also been repaired, and is also awaiting a fresh coat of paint. Comanche is on track for a March 2014 return to service flight.
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