(November 25, 2012 – O’Reilly Field)
Since only one NAR member was present, I could not launch Zephyr myself as a Level 1 attempt, so Andrew K. and Mark Rectenwald of MTMA took the controls for me. We considered this a “shakedown flight”.
The X6 Nesaru rocket “Zephyr” took to the sky (Finally!) today on its maiden voyage. Zephyr hit a peak altitude of 1746 feet, and made it there in a FLASH with a peak speed of 560 MPH!
That’s the upside…
The downside, the cold weather made the on-board batteries basically ineffective, and NONE of the events happened except for the last resort backup charge.
The purpose this backup charge is to separate the rocket if a loss of computer control ever happens. This prevents a VERY dangerous collision with person or property.
The emergency backup systems made for a very rough landing for Zephyr, but much better than drilling nose first deep (as in a couple of feet) into the ground!
On the upside to that, 80% of the rocket was either undamaged, or had very minor damage. One of the sections made to absorb the shock of rough landings was destroyed.
By the end of the day, I managed to complete much of the structural repairs, and work on replacing all of the external electrical conduits & connections will begin soon. All of the external wiring on the rocket was destroyed on the rough landing.
Weather permitting, another attempt could happen as soon as later next month.
More news soon!