On Sunday afternoon we finally made it to the local park to test fly the Mk2 Stager, with a small booster and sustainer.
It was a good day of test flights. The first launch was good with good staging. We had a failure on the second launch with no release, but no damage was done to the staging mechanism. We made a couple of minor adjustments and then the final two flights of the day went well again. We had to leave the oval after flight #4 as it was getting too dark to shoot good video.
From simulations and the observed flight times which were relatively close to the simulated predictions the sustainer reached over the 100m (330') mark. Not bad for a little 600ml bottle with 200ml of water at 110psi.
This is a couple of frames taken from ground video of the staging taking place. The sustainer arced over a little probably because its stability is marginal mostly due to its short length. Seen here staging is happening around the 10-15m mark.
We will post the full results of the test launches in the next few days with photos and video. Soon after that we will also do the full write up of the mechanism itself.
The next test flights of stager will likely be on a medium sized booster and a bigger sustainer. We haven't settled on the configuration yet as we were waiting to see how these tests would go. The bigger booster and sustainer will have to be flown at Doonside.