Ohyo Launch 1 Report
1st Successful Launch!
First - I’ll start by defining successful:
We launched the rocket, and it came back to us, in a condition where it could be safely flown again.
The first launch happened on May 28th, at roughly 10am local time (14:00utc). The first launch didn’t actually carry the radio payload, but was instead a ‘test’ launch to make sure the rocket itself would behave like, well, a rocket :-)
We followed our checklist however, as though we were going to include the payload, and then just left it out, so that we would have 1 last shot at ironing out any kinks in our prep and setup. The good news is, that all of that went very well!
Since this was our first ‘live launch’ of the rocket, we were hoping to learn anything we needed about the launching of the rocket itself, our new launch pad, and the fly away rail-guide, which we had never used before. Again, all of that went pretty much exactly as planned, with just one notable exception:
- The retaining ring that holds the engine in, actually popped off when the ejection charge fired, and while the parachutes still deployed, the motor casing also ejected out of the back of the rocket. Luckily the ring and motor casing were both found during a post-launch sweep of the area.
I can’t say for sure, but I believe this happened due to the motor adapter that we were using. The rocket is built to accept up to a 38mm motor, but we were launching with a 29mm motor, so there is a spacer tube that the engine slides into, and then another spacer that fits between the back of the motor and the ring. This rear spacer was a pre-fabbed plywood ring, and due to it’s thickness, the retaining ring that screws on probably only had 1 or 2 ‘threads’ worth of bite.
- Our fix for this will be to replace the wooden retainer with a washer that has the correct inside and outside diameter, but is much thinner, to allow the retaining ring to thread on further. Additionally, we may also order a different pre-made adapter from a different company, that uses a slightly different design, which is more purpose built and looks to have flanged pieces that can nest together without taking up ‘thread’ room.