Apogee Aspire Supersonic Video

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RocketRoll

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I put together a video of my third and final attempt to launch a supersonic Apogee Aspire.

I guess transonic is *technically* the most accurate description but supersonic has a better ring to it!

I lost the rocket in tall grass, and therefore lost the altimeter, but I found I could do a lot with the drone footage!

 

BABAR

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Two phrases come to mind.

first: “Bat outa hell!”

second: “Scotty, did you get all of it?”
 

mbeels

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Very nice flight, and excellent video! That is a lot of production work, really well done. Did you share the video with Apogee? They might like to see it.
 

afadeev

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nice video. :clapping:
+1.

My one and only question was going to be: how did you track and recover it?

It's not a random thought. I am looking at a fully built and yet un-flown Aspire in my basement. The primary concern I have about flying it is getting it back on F10 motor.
If I stick a GPS tracking into it, it gets too heavy to go hypersonic.
If I don't, my chances of getting the rocket and the altimeter back decay to near-zero.
 

RocketRoll

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+1.

My one and only question was going to be: how did you track and recover it?

It's not a random thought. I am looking at a fully built and yet un-flown Aspire in my basement. The primary concern I have about flying it is getting it back on F10 motor.
If I stick a GPS tracking into it, it gets too heavy to go hypersonic.
If I don't, my chances of getting the rocket and the altimeter back decay to near-zero.
The Aspire with an F or G motor has always been a "fire-and-forget" rocket for me, unfortunately. Like you said, trackers add a lot of weight (relative to the rocket's weight) and therefore require motors with a greater impulse. But if you use a motor with a peak thrust that's too high, you'll shred the balsa fins (even if they're laminated)... that's what happened with my first two attempts. So it was a bit of a balancing act to find a motor that got me just enough power to hit Mach 1.1, without hitting accelerations so high they shred the fins, and without taking 5000+ feet to do it. Trying to compensate for a tracker (and trying to fit it into the 29mm tube) made things too complicated, so I dropped the tracker idea.

Depending on where you live, you could try launching yours in winter after it snows. I've had some luck finding rockets in snow vs in grass/bushes during the summer.
 

ksaves2

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My first Aspire flew on a G80 at a major launch. It truly is a fire and forget rocket. I thought it was lost except someone found it recovering another rocket and I got it back eventually. Flew well on lower powered motors. Eventually lost it in a large pond I presume after 16 flights. Flew it on the F10-8 one time and boy that was neat seeing it disappear with the motor still burning. I waited and waited and waited. Then it finally appeared under streamer and I got it back. Winds aloft must have been not too bad. Oh, only use single use motors to avoid losing hardware Kurt
 

jrap330

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While it is nice to see all that math...but it has been a long time since I was in college.( 39 years).......so for me...why the hell did you launch it....appears the field is too small for that rocket on a G motor. I hope you find it after some additional search and rescue mission.
 

RocketRoll

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While it is nice to see all that math...but it has been a long time since I was in college.( 39 years).......so for me...why the hell did you launch it....appears the field is too small for that rocket on a G motor. I hope you find it after some additional search and rescue mission.
The next largest field is about two hours away... so I'm a bit limited with options. Basically I watch the weather forecast like a hawk and look for mornings with no wind, then use dual-deploy or streamer recovery. But sometimes it doesn't work out...
 

jrap330

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The next largest field is about two hours away... so I'm a bit limited with options. Basically I watch the weather forecast like a hawk and look for mornings with no wind, then use dual-deploy or streamer recovery. But sometimes it doesn't work out...
Too bad, hope you find it.
 

Homer_S

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Neither the drone nor the eyeballs caught anything from the deployment and descent? I always think you could fly the drone right to the landing spot.

Homer
 

CrazyModelGuy

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And this is why you should NEVER launch anywhere where recovery isnt 100% guaranteed. I know, I know. Things happen. But any rockets Ive launched recently are done within a field that is 4 times larger than possible altitude. I no longer use Parachutes. I made custom Nylon Streamers and they usually land within 1000 feet of my launch area. On larger rockets I know this isnt possible. But I find launch locations that fit according to my metric. But regardless awesome flight. Great drone footage.
 

afadeev

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Neither the drone nor the eyeballs caught anything from the deployment and descent? I always think you could fly the drone right to the landing spot.
Drone "spotting" works really well if you have a line of sight on where the rocket landed. Once you have the bearing, the FPV drone will ascertain the range, and provide other visual clues on best path to retrieve the rocket.

If your flight profile is to altitudes beyond visual (3+K for most smallish rockets), or you are flying into low cloud cover, and don't get a bearing on descent, drones will not help. You will have fun flying the drone, and might find other people's rockets or motors (BTDT), but that's about as useful as drones get without a line of sight towards the landing area.

And this is why you should NEVER launch anywhere where recovery isnt 100% guaranteed.
You probably meant to phrase this differently, as "not 100% guaranteed recovery" potentially describes just about every rocket launch.
Descent to Earth's surface is very much guaranteed, courtesy of Newton's law of gravitation.
However, rocketeer's ability to pinpoint the site of said descent is never guaranteed. One's chances do go up with a radio/GPS tracker, but that gizmo adds its own set of fun and exciting complications.

a
 

ksaves2

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As mentioned before. No matter how large a field one uses for an Apogee Aspire, it's a fire a forget rocket on a G80. Assume you'll lose it and by gosh don't use reusable casings on a G80. Lower impulse motors increase the chances one will have a successfull recovery and it's a fine sport rocket.
Any sort of tracker with add weight and it likely "won't" attain the Mach 1 cachet that has been placed on the design.

Kurt
 

manixFan

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Really great job on the graphics - I've done similar kinds of projects and it's a ton of work. I also really liked the overlay of the successive frames when you were computing the speed. Well done all around, thanks for posting the video!


Tony
 

Alan15578

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Nice video and interesting comments.

Back in the late 80's I supervised a group of four seniors at Iowa State University doing a supersonic model rocket project for their senior project. My goal, aside from enabling four students to graduate, was to improve on Chuck Mund's earlier process and results. My report, a synthesis and correction of the students reports, was submitted to a NARAM R&D competition. I have no experience with the Aspire, but the students' rockets looked more like the Estes Alpha.

Like most engineering projects, progress is slow and deadlines loom. I taught the students some real world methods, like writing the report with stubs and TBD before the data is in. When I ordered the motors, F80s and E50s, directly from AT, they were out of stock. Fortunately I was able to get AT to produce the motors in time and ship then via Flying Tigers. We did some static motor testing, and some day time flying to verify structural integrity. The real flights were to be made at a nearby farm at night in April, before crops became an issue. And then it rained. Luckily, I was able to get an extension on the deadline for the students submitting their final reports, because it was raining.

After the weather cleared, we got all the flights in and flight measurements recorded on film without any mishaps. I thought the flights would be mostly fire and forget, and I thought the students would be working day and night to finish their reports. However, the students went back the next morning and found about half of the number of rockets flown. One did have a broken shock cord, but I was amazed that they found anything. So they actually achieved M1.1 with the E50, and Mach 1.42 with the F80, with some recoveries from a night launch. So much for fire and forget.

At that time there was a 24mm AT F101 that would have been awesome for supersonic flights, but it is not a model rocket motor, and only model rockets can be flown at night. There was also a 29MM AT G60 that was not a speed demon, but could have accelerated some instrumentation to low supersonic speed. An AT G80 could certainly carry some instrumentation to supersonic speeds. I think night launching is still viable, but you would probably want to update the process to use digital cameras. Indeed, you should be able to get the data in daylight with digital cameras. I'm not sure the complication of using drones is the best approach; I'd like to see the error analysis. However, at this time it does seem to be an advance in the state of the art.

I'm not sure the launch area chosen is ideal. the clearing is nice but it is surrounded by dense forest. There is plenty of desert surrounded by more desert, and farmland surrounded by yet more farmland.
 

rharshberger

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One trick for recovery is to use a 2x"10' 2 mil silver mylar streamer, super easy to spot as it sparkles/flashes on the way down. Yes 10' is well over the recommended width to length of streamer ratio but it makes locating the rocket much easier than using a shorter streamer.
 

bad_idea

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Indeed, I've had good luck with a simple 3" x 6' streamer cut from a mylar survival blanket. A gentleman in one of the local clubs has encouraged me to try three of four of these streamers rigged side-by-side, the better to spot tiny rockets on higher launches. Hoping to test that this coming Saturday.
 

rharshberger

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Indeed, I've had good luck with a simple 3" x 6' streamer cut from a mylar survival blanket. A gentleman in one of the local clubs has encouraged me to try three of four of these streamers rigged side-by-side, the better to spot tiny rockets on higher launches. Hoping to test that this coming Saturday.
Look up Dura-Lar 2 mil silver on Amazon, its the same stuff competition rocket streamers are made from, much tougher than either space blankets or reflective bird tape. I use the clear Dura-lar as a smooth easy to release surface for flat fiberglass layups and to protect couplers when glassing cardboard airframes.
 

Homer_S

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Look up Dura-Lar 2 mil silver on Amazon, its the same stuff competition rocket streamers are made from, much tougher than either space blankets or reflective bird tape. I use the clear Dura-lar as a smooth easy to release surface for flat fiberglass layups and to protect couplers when glassing cardboard airframes.
Hey,

Do you think this one is as strong? VIVOSUN. Seems like 200 sq. ft. for about the same price as 27 sq. ft.

Homer
 

Michael L

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Mine stayed lost for 2 months. I have a huge launch area so that wasn't the problem. The dual deploy setup didn't fire. I used the wrong ignitors. I know that because I recovered the rocket and when I downloaded the altimeter it had stopped recording at apogee. It laid on the ground for 2 months and I finally decided to go look for it. I entered the wind data into RocSim. assumed a successful flight, and got an estimated downwind range. I knew which direction it left the pad. 800' downrange was what the sim said. I walked in the last known direction with my GPS, overshot the mark, walked back about 20' to start a grid search similar to what CAP does, and there it was. I turned the switch off, turned it on, and heard confirmation beeps, including the two ignitors that had never fired. I tested them later and both wouldn't fire on 4V and fired very nicely on 8V (dead 9V battery). Caveats - I have miles to play in. I launched with an F motor (60Ns and less contest). It wasn't gone as fast as yours but it was gone PDQ. After sitting out for two months, getting rained on, and hitting pretty hard I decided to take it apart, buy some new cardboard bits, and rebuild it. It'll be called Recycler :) It's ready for the contest we'll have in a few months (since we had no successful recoveries we redid the contest).
 
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rharshberger

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Hey,

Do you think this one is as strong? VIVOSUN. Seems like 200 sq. ft. for about the same price as 27 sq. ft.

Homer
I know the dura-lar product but not the vivosun. The dura-lar product has not seperated on me yet example split between layers like the mylar bird tape will.
 
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