Flywheel Payload

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KennB

I-95 Envoy
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A team from one of the colleges that flies with us is planning to build a rocket with an electric driven flywheel as a payload. The plan is for the flywheel to induce roll in the rocket with a second flywheel to reverse the roll. Sounds interesting.

Has anyone else seen this type of payload? I know metal is limited in the construction of the structural parts of the rocket but what about as internal components?

I'm not looking for philosophical discussions on the principles just the application of safety codes in regards to this design.

Thanks for any thoughtful input or stories of experience.
 
since it isn't part of the structure, I don't see a problem with it from a "safety code" point of view. From a practical point of view, you need heavy flywheels, or very fast spinning flywheels to impart any significant force. I you're using heavy ones, that isn't good for rocket performance. That may be irrelevant in your case, but...

You might want to use light flywheels and use external batteries to spin them to high speeds just before launch. I that would make the amount of time sitting on the pad more critical, but it might be worth the performance benefits.
 
You might want to use light flywheels and use external batteries to spin them to high speeds just before launch. I that would make the amount of time sitting on the pad more critical, but it might be worth the performance benefits.

No reason you couldn't run them with breakaway clips from a car battery.
 
I've been thinking of a weighted flywheel for one of my projects (to the point of looking for parts); however my idea was to use it as a form of gyroscopic stabilization for straight vertical flight rather than purposely inducing roll.

I would think that inducing roll would be much easier to achieve with actuated pivoting fins/ailerons which would also be much lighter. Sorry if I'm misunderstanding something.

Regardless, IMHO I think two small flywheels inside of the rocket shouldn't be a problem as long as it isn't considered "substantial" part of the construction. Many HP rockets have metal tipped nose cones and some have metal fin cans. Just make sure it's announced as a precaution and it's a heads-up flight.

BTW - My Mindsim says using two counter-rotating flywheels would be quite slow in altering roll rate since they are fighting each other and quick changes in flywheel rpm is difficult because of the rotating mass. Still sounds really awesome to me and I'd love to see tests and progress on this!
 
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