November Rocket Launch

Rene and Wheatley
Rene and her rocketry coach Mr. Wheatley

Rene W. attempted to break the high school altitude record for rocketry at our November rocket launch.  While she had a successful flight, the rocket did not make the 35,000 ft. altitude needed to break the record.  

We were able to recover all of the rocket parts and Rene plans to rebuild and try again prior to her graduation in December.

Launch statistics:

  • Altitude 19,528ft which is very high for amateur rocket. (The vast majority of people who launch rockets never exceed 1,500ft.)
  • Speed  Mach 1.28  974mph
  • Max G force 41g’s
  • Max Acceleration 1459ft/second (almost 5 football fields in 1 second)
  • Motor burn time 8.68 seconds
  • Recovered distance from launch pad .73 miles 

 Several of the new things tried worked flawlessly which is great. We also were able to look at the flight data along with the physical parts to determine what caused the flight in come short of our expectations. 

What Rene learned – 

The motor burned 2.1 seconds too long.  The increased burn time means the rocket did not produce enough thrust to get things moving as we planned. The second issue with the long burn is the heat produced over an extended period of time. The heat appears to have softened the carbon fiber epoxy laminate which caused one of the fins to come loose along the journey. This could also have been caused by a lack of epoxy but based on the evidence we do not feel this is the case. 

 Article from Amarillo Globe News  

And you can find more information on the Cal Farley’s website at this link.

 Launch video – Be sure to turn up the sound. It was much more impressive in person!!!