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Experiencing a Significant Gravitas Shortfall

In the fall of 2017, I completed the Level 2 cert, it’s time to move on to my Level 3 cert. At the July launch, I picked up a Formula 200 kit from the good folks at AMW. Gloria sealed the deal by throwing in an Aeropack 98mm retainer for free. It will make a capable airframe for the Level 3 attempt. Given the waivers at the Sod Farm and Higgs, I wanted to go with something that would be relatively heavy and big. The Formula 200 will come in about 50-55 lbs unloaded which will allow it to handle a wide range of M and N motors and stay within the waiver.

In case I haven’t stated it before, our big 3-5 year goal is to send a 1kg payload to over 100,000 ft. and recover it. This project was the next step in that goal. The goals of this project and how they relate to my overall mission:

  • First and foremost, obtain my L3 cert. The L3 is required for a flight that high and I can re-acquaint myself with this level of complexity.
  • Create a robust airframe that can be used as a test bed for the larger 75mm and 98mm experimental motors I will be developing. My plan for the 100,000 ft. flight calls for using experimental motors and this airframe will serve as an eventual flight test bed for the larger motors.
  • Gain experience with the ARRD recovery configuration in a larger rocket where the recovery forces are likely to be large. I have used the recovery setup on my Level 2 cert. It is the recovery method I would like to use on the sustain for the 100k.
  • Machine a custom-designed aluminum thrust ring for the rocket. I expect to make some custom bulkheads for the 100k project and a thrust plate is a nice, easy start on gaining experience in doing that. This shouldn’t be much different than the normal CNC work I do.
  • Develop the tools, ground support, and processes necessary to support a large complex launch. I would like to use this project to:
    • Develop a better transport rack setup
    • Develop better work cradles for holding the rocket during assembly and prep.
    • Build a proper case for the LCD receivers for the TRS altimeter.
    • Develop a better prep system in regard to a 2 person team. Need to develop a process of running through the checklist better with double confirmations.

This project launched at LDRS in April 2017. Level 3 packet

Flight Log

Recovery Config

Projected Performance