August 30, 2020 – Amherst, Ohio

Today’s launch was a big one! An “all up” test!

Cornelius an the “Mr. Bean” rocket before launch.

The DEMO-2 launch originally had the objective of a repeat flight of DEMO-1, only this time to verify the operation of the new barometric pressure sensor during real-flight conditions.

During the time between the DEMO-1 launch and the scheduled launch of DEMO-2, the Block 5 RFC Core flight computer was completed, and undergoing pre-flight tests.

As launch time neared, I declared the RFC-100 block 5 core flight computer as ready for flight.

I gave serious consideration to updating the objectives of DEMO-2 to another “All Up” style test.

I re-ran the tests a few more times, and the RFC-100 Block 5 core flight computer passed again.

Cornelius and Jim at Mission Control reviewing rocket status data before the launch

The day before launch, I installed the block 5 computer, and configured Mr. Bean for the new mission objectives.

The (New) DEMO-2: combined the objectives of the original DEMO-4, 5, and 6 missions.

Those missions were:

(original) DEMO-4: RFC Block 4 test: First test of new RFC-100 core computer hardware, test dual channel pyro control by firing events AFTER motor delay and observe status telemetry event status reports.

(original) DEMO-5: RFC Block 4 test: First flight that allows RFC-100 flight computer to actually control flight events.

(original) DEMO-6: RFC Block 5 test: First flight of RFC with integrated dual channel MOSFET for flight events, and in-flight apogee test.

With the new flight computer installed, Mr. Bean was ready for mission DEMO-2.

The mini basestation was also used with the DEMO-2 test flight. The unit performed to expectations.

Launch day:

Launched on an H-180 motor for this flight, Mr. Bean reached a maximum altitude of 1485 feet. The RFC-100 flight computer successfully performed the apogee event at 1480 feet.

Jim Seibyl was manning mission control for this flight. Jim goes by the stage name “Gheem” on The Rocketry Show podcast Thanks, Gheem!

Demo-2 liftoff

Also added to the DEMO-2 mission was a hand-held mini receiver. This device is useful during pre-launch arming procedures, getting current altitude information during launch, and for gathering exact GPS location updates from the rocket as recovery teams are near.

On the drive home, it sunk in that my flight computer works!

Mission Demo-2 is underway!

-The DEMO series of missions are designed to test and verify the operation of the avionics systems to be used on Cornelius’ Level 2 certification project. This series of tests will involve several level 1 rockets in his fleet to test various aspects of this avionics system between 2020 and the first L2 certification attempt launches, tentatively set for sometime in 2022.