The Aquila launch vehicle Liberty‘s repairs are 100% complete. It was decided to not replace the payload section that was damaged on the last flight. In its place is a solid piece of airframe tubing.
(Saturday, February 13th 2010 – O’Reily Field)
The Aquila Rocket Liberty took to the skies for the second and third time — this time loaded with the Aerotech D21 composite motor. The flights were AMAZING, and it reached a height of approx 1200 – 1300 feet.
The maiden flight (ATS 1) was powered by a traditional “black powder” engine, and it only reached a height of around 500 feet or so.
Liberty flew two missions on 2/13 (ATS 02, and 03), and on the second flight (ATS 03), the nose cone became dislodged during parachute deployment at 1300 feet, and was lost as a result. The loss of the nose cone resulted in damage to the unprotected side of the payload section.
The upper section damage has now been repaired, and the Aquila “Liberty” is awaiting re-painting and preparation for a planned March 13th (ATS04) mission.
Preliminary plans are underway for a the construction of a second rocket in the “Aquila Project” family.
More information to come!