After a disappointing non-flight at LDRS, it was time to correct the stability issue with Cheshire. With the motor loaded, the rocket was heavy. A fat bottomed rocket, which it meant that it need some nose cone weight to balance. I am now the proud owner of RockSim software. So I dove in and thrashed around the program trying to come up with the correct amount of weight needed to add to the nose cone. First attempt 4 lbs, second 4oz. Looks like I have a lot to learn about using RockSim.
G and I used some special plastic epoxy and buckshot to pour into the nose cone. Well pour is not quite the right description. Imagine a hole with less than 1/2″ diameter and trying to encourage a mixture of 8oz buckshot and 1oz epoxy through this. Once in place we waited for the epoxy to do its thing. It got pretty hot, so a nice cup of water to cool helped out.
It had to stay upright overnight to properly set. The concoction was quite stinky and still is. To do list for any future weight adjustments projects: locate my local gun store. All seemed well with the weight addition, so decided to drag race with G at Lucerne on Sat 07/10.
I finally arrived in the desert after several hours of construction traffic and needed to just calm the down the road rage vibe. Can tell that I am getting better skillz as the prep time to pack recovery system and load the motor was fairly quick. Mainly due to the lack of epoxy mess preventing the motor casing from smooth insertion. Before I always had to spend time sanding away any blockage.
(Shot of the buckshot dropped down into the shoulder)
As we made out way for launch pad assignments, the weight fell from G’s nose cone. This meant that mine was subject to the same failure. I reasoned that perhaps his rocket sitting in the heat sped up the issue. Okay I just wanted to fly my rocket, so I decided to just go for it.
All started out well and Cheshire was flying straight. We could see the point at which the weight fell in the nose cone as the rocket started to cart-wheel. Poor Cheshire slammed down hard on the ground and then the parachute ejected. Post mort revealed that the rocket was well-built and did not sustain physical damage. However the paint job did take a beating. The blow seemed to shake the paint off the nose cone in chunks. G also blogged about this excursion as well. Thanks G for the amazing photos.
(Monty assessing Cheshire’s damage. Looks like repainting of the nose cone is in order.)
Just a note on the motor, a Cessaroni I140 Skidmark. I just love the sparkly tail. My first one, and am a fan now.
Next up: Round 2 of weight modification will include foam to secure the epoxied buckshot in place.