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Saturday & Sunday, July 26 & 27, 2008
NARAM-50 was almost the third NARAM we didn’t bring the Saturn to. Jess and I both were tempted to throw the Saturn out of our second story bedroom window if we didn’t finish this time. Time seemed not in our favor, and midday Saturday, we decided against going to the Old Rocketeer Reunion in order to finish the model. It was midnight Sunday morning before the clear coat was on… and it was about 5 pm before we were on the road and on our way to Scale turn-in at NARAM. We finished…we arrived, we turned-in.
Friday, August 1– 1st Place Flight
The Saturn lifted off via PVC Spider ignition of 2 D12-3s and 2 C6-0s (plugged with tamped wadding)…Staged by RC to a B6-6… Ejection triggered by RC just after apogee (motor was backup). Chutes worked great. (I would use a shorter delay motor next time; 6 seconds is probably too long). Scroll down for video by John Cieslak.
2nd Stage post-burnout stability issues:
The upperstage flew fairly straight during the short burn of the B6 motor but began to coning and/or tumbling immediately after burnout. After analyzing video by Chris Taylor ( naramlive.com scale flights video) I believe that the problem may be due to the high-drag shape of the short 2nd stage, combined with low motor thrust, high weight and a low-area fin arrangement. It seems the B6 motor thrust was sufficient to keep the stage going straight until burnout, when rapid deceleration led to a level of instability that the small fins could not compensate for, despite successful swing tests of a mini boilerplate version of the stage. This issue can likely be resolved by implementing pop-out fins and will be easily tested in subsequent boilerplate flights.
An internal staging coupler tube suffered heavy charing and was smoldering after recovery (resolved by Steve Humphrey’s timely spit-extinguishing technique). The bottom of the model suffered some exhaust deflection damage due to deflection of the motor flames by the spider’s tubing.
See below for some additional photos taken on launch day:
The following photos were taken by George Gassaway, Steve Humphrey, Chris Taylor, and Bob Sanford. Click for larger view and caption/author.
Video by John Cieslak and Chris Taylor:
More NARAM-50 photos:
- NARAM-50 Photo Album on Meatball Rocketry
- NARAM Live by Chris Taylor (External Link)
- Photos by George Gassaway (External Link)