At Doonside this weekend we flew the Axion rocket again 3 times with a camera on the boom to try and get a better shot of what is happening in the lowest bottle in flight. We used food colouring to enhance the contrast and no foaming agent this time. We also painted the fins a neutral gray to prevent the auto-iris on the camera making everything else too dark.
The full launch report is available here: http://home. people.net. au/~aircommand/ day82.htm
Since a few people have now asked about when Acceleron V is going to fly again, I might as well do an update. We are in the process of getting Acceleron V back in the air. There were a couple of issues that we really wanted to solve before trying again. The number one priority is getting the spliced pairs reliable enough to be able to launch with them and not worrying about being very close to the burst limit. The last explosion showed that the spliced pairs just weren't there yet. Even though they were tested to 130psi, they were obviously close to that pressure. Although we could fly the rocket at lower pressure, the rocket's flight envelope was really not designed for anything lower than 110psi. Ideally the rocket needs 130-140psi.
The need for stronger spliced pairs is the reason we have been doing the splice tests recently. If further tests with the new splice technique continue to go well, we are hoping to replace the existing spliced pairs with the new ones on the rocket. We have 4 new spliced pairs curing at the moment and we will hydro test them to 140psi. We will then make a Polaron style rocket and test fly them at 130psi. If the spliced pairs perform well in real life situations then we will make up more to replace those on Acceleron V.
The other issue is the pressure switch. We want to have a reliable pressure switch to detect burnout. The pressure switch we used on the first flight just wasn't reliable enough, and the old pressure switch (TDD) leaks a little. When these issues are resolved, then we will try to put Acceleron V up again.