September 25, 2003

Unconventional thinking

Just for fun, I thought I'd share some of the more unusual rocket designs I've come up with. Each of these rockets has made successful flights. I just don't like to fly boring rockets.

First up is a tube-finned rocket, the Bad Medicine. Like the description says, the fins are lengths of tubing, which makes for a tough and very stable rocket. It adds more weight than you'd have with regular fins, so they're not as popular as standard designs. I prefer the cool factor though.

The Vampyre is one of the first rockets I ever designed from scratch. This one is a ring-fin. I'm still flying this little rocket, and she amazes people with the sheer speed and altitude she gets.

Still playing with the concept of asymetrical fins, I next designed the Starbow. This design flies acceptably, but it's not really a great flyer. The pictures suck too, this is pre-digital camera days.

Undoubtably the oddest design I've ever done, the Cinderella doesn't look anything like what most people think of as a rocket. She does, however, look like something you'd see in Earth orbit in a Chesley Bonestell painting. The picture shows the prototype, which worked so well I literally flew it to pieces (over 30 flights). She's now hanging from my workshop ceiling. A second model was built and finished with silver paint, but it didn't fly nearly as well. I've also partially constructed an upscaled version to fly on bigger motors.

Finally, the Barenaked Lady was a project that Rachael and I did together. Extremely lightweight despite six fins and her hefty size, she rocks on mid-power motors.

I just realized I don't have pictures posted of another odd-roc we did, named Invader Zim's Song of Doom. She used a funnel for drag stability instead of fins, and the nosecone was a green plastic easter egg with silver alien eyes made from duct tape. This one had problems from the outset. Not with the going up part, but with the coming down part. As in parachutes not wanting to work correctly. She finally destroyed herself by becoming a lawn dart, and we have the video tape to cringe over anytime we want to watch it. Embarrassing.

Posted by: Ted at 09:31 PM | category: Rocketry
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