So this past week I finished my first scratch built rocket. After many name suggestions, it went on the launch pad with the name Betelgeuse.
Here is what happened.....
I got everything set up, started the countdown and hit the launch button. (I ended up using the E-9 motor)
Initial take off was great up until about 40 feet, then the rocket took an immediate, very sharp turn and continued it's flight basically parallel to the ground....just a slight angle upward. I maintained a visual on the rocket for the entire flight. At apogee...the chute deployed but the rocket continued to fall as if no parachute. Ended up the chute strings ripped through the chute. So I watched the free fall as long as I could and then went hunting. I ended up finding the rocket pretty close to where i thought it would be. It was about 15 feet up in a tree.
Once I got it down, I checked it for damage. One of the forward fins was sheared off. Other than that, the rocket was just fine.
So here is a question....why would the rocket do an aggressive turn like that and fly parallel to the ground? I was thinking either the fin came off right after takeoff, or it came off when it hit the tree. I have not been able to find the fin. My thought is, if the fin detached right after takeoff....I should have found it as I launched from a nice sized field. I think that that particular fin was just a bit misaligned from the others....could that have caused the sharp turn and the shearing? Other than that...i was pleased it actually flew. Even after going parallel, the rocket seemed to remain straight during it's flight. Thoughts/ideas anyone? Thanks!
Pic of the rocket