This blog covers the day to day progress of water rocket development by the Air Command Water Rockets team. It is also a facility for people to provide feedback and ask questions.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Acceleron V first flight

We've updated our main website with details of Acceleron V's first test flight here:

The update includes photos and a video of the flight.

Although the flight didn't quite go according to plan, there were a lot of positives we got out of it, and obtained some valuable data about the rocket's performance. Reviewing the altimeter and video data we think we know what happened. We now have a plan for what changes we will need to make by the second test flight in a few weeks time. Luckily they are only minor changes.

Complex rockets take time to sort through the various issues as there are many things that can go wrong. Without flights like these we don't learn what works and what doesn't. Overall we consider the flight mostly a success.

I've also uploaded a highlights video of the pyro rockets from the launch day here:



Tom Stanton said...

Hi George
Not good to see an unsuccessful launch :( Anyway, the staging mechanism performed well:) You were luck that the Acceleron V did crash because all your hard work could have been smashed (like my rocket!).

George Katz said...

Hi Tom,

Less than successful launches are just a part of the game. It would be too boring if every flight was perfect. :) It can be disappointing at times, as you know, when you put a lot of hard work into it, but each new repair/build can be a good learning opportunity.

We knew that there were a number of scenarios that could have eventuated since we were testing a lot of new things at the same time. This is why we put in the back-up system. Fortunately, it was the one that saved the day. :)

The next test flight is sure to crop up with new issues. We'll just fix those one by one until the rocket is performing the way we would like. There may be more crashes along the way.

After all the delays tt was still lots of fun seeing the big rocket finally get off the ground, even though it didn't go quite right. :)

Daniel Veira said...

Hi George,

Sorry about the unsuccessful launch, this things happen but always it is hard. For example, a month ago, when I was making the presurization test for my Alpha water rocket and when I pull the string the rocket fly and get stuck in a tree. I picked up my lader and I climbed to the top of the tree and I save the day :).

But a week ago I launched my rocket with 9 bar and the wind was so hard so the rocket fly a lot vertically but it fly a lot horizontally too and I lose it in the high grass :(.

I sure that you will do better next time!!!

(soory about my english level ;))

Good luck!

George Katz said...

Thanks Daniel,

Losing rockets is never fun. We have started putting our email address on the rocket where people can easily see it. If we loose it there is always a chance that someone will find it and contact us. If there is an altimeter or camera on it, then it is well worth getting back even with a small reward.


- George